April 2011 BASRA Grand Bahama Rescue Report
By Capt. d'Von M. Archer
May 4, 2011 - 8:52:11 AM
Freeport, Bahamas - Since 1960 the
Bahamas Air Sea Rescue Association of Grand Bahama made
its mandate to save persons in distress on the sea. Solely manned and
operated by volunteers, BASRA has saved many lives and been involved in
thousands of rescues. With the assistance of both the Bahamas Defense
Force and the U.S. Coast Guard, BASRA Grand Bahama maintains a watchful
eye on the Northern Bahamas seas.
The following is their April 2011 Rescue Report:
For the month of April, we
had a total of 5 calls, 14 people assisted, 2 rescue boats called out,
0 plane searches, 1 assist from USCG, and 1 assists by others.
On April 19th, 2011 at 7:25am a call from
USCG OPBAT Nassau came in. Motor vessel Allison, 73 foot green/red, steel haul,
left Alabama, and was due in Freeport April 18th. Called Bimini Immigration, no boat
cleared by that name. Contacted GBYC, Port Lucaya Marina and Bradford,
no boat with that name. Notified OPBAT that no word on vessel
in area. No further data from Opbat.
On April 20th at 5:00pm a sailing boat
(Honey Pot) of Silver Point inlet called BASRA for assistance. The Boat
had lost its engine coming in to the channel. Rescue I towed in to Ocean
Reef Yacht Club. Thank you to the persons on board as they also purchased family
membership, $50.00 in merchandise and $150.00 donation.
On April 20th at 10:15 pm a distress
cellphone call from women in a 17 foot Whaler off of Bahama Beach
Club came in. The engine had failed and they were taking on water. 4 POB, life
jackets, no VHF. Launched Rescue I and towed into Running Mon ramp.
Rescue I vessel then returned to dock at 1:00am.
On April 24th at 9:45am a call from a family of a 38 foot Cat (Russ Cut), white with blue letters, with
2 POB left Fort Pierce at 10:30pm on April 23rd for Grand Cay. They were sending
location every 2 hours on spot, they had not sent signal for 7 hours.
Last location 27.40.0238 – 79 90. 082. 9:55am Notified Grand Cay
to put out call. Call from family member received spot, time 9:41am,
location 27.40.616 – 70.49.197, told Grand Cay to stand-down. 10:17pm
call from family member, had not heard for another 7 hours. Called Grand
Cay again to call out. 10:56pm The family member called they had another spot, and they were ok, We then called Grand Cay to stand-down.
On April 26th at 10:15am received a call from
Orlando Sands from Bimini. He had received a call from a family, that
they had received a text message from the boat. That a 21 foot
Rebalo white and black strip with 3 POB had engine problems and were
taking on water. They could see West End. They had left Bimini at 6:00pm the evening before for West End. During the night we had a severe
storm going through the area. BASRA asked a good Samaritan if they could text
them back and get more details on there location, compass heading to
west end distance from island etc. Since that time we had no more messages
from the boat. 10:30am call from Insp. Borrows Marine Patrol that he had
received a call from a mother with the same report. He reported that the mother
had received the distress call at 3:30am, but had just reported it.
11:30am, call from mother to BASRA, same report. Called OPBAT for any
assists in area, they had a Hilo going on an e-vac put would over fly
the area. 1:00pm call from OPBAT, no boat located. Called for plane
and none were available in Freeport. 1:05pm call from another good
Samaritan. Asked if he had anyone with a plane to search. 1:30pm called
OPBAT to request a formal search, they said we would have to contact
RBDF. Called Insp Burrows, who reported he had notified RBDF and would
call the new Sr. Ltd Brown to make the request. Call from OPBAT wanting
more info on boat. Called good Samaritan again and found out the boat
had a 175 Merc, center consol and no top. 2:05pm called BTC to check
what cell tower the text message had come in on. 2:40pm called Old
Bahama Bay too see if they could assist and put a call out in the area. No reply on call out. 3:50pm BTC confirmed West End tower, notified
OPBAT. 4:55pm OPBAT called to say District 7 taking control of case. 5:40pm,
received a call from West End that a rumor that a body had floated ashore. Called West End police and police control Freeport, they had no report.
6:05pm Dist 7 reported they had run there first search and nothing found.
7:18pm call from good Samaritan that mother and sister had seen an
article in BahamaPress.com that a boat coming from Bimini to West End
with 3 POB, that 3 bodies had been found on the beach. Called police
again and they could not confirm. 7:50pm call from Good Samaritan,
boat had reach land on Deadman's Reef and all were safe. Notified all
parties to stand down. April 27th called brother, and the 3 had taken turns swimming
the boat to shore, they had on life vest. The problem was that we could not find
them was they were further east of West End then they first reported.
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