Bimini, Bahamas - Friday morning Basra received reports of a vessel missing, the vessel left Dover sound Thursday 19 ft Boston whaler 200 Yamaha , two people on board . Talbert Johnston and Eliss Pinder, they were heading north to fish the banks or carters key area.
BASRA launch air searches as well as radio broadcasts for assistance locating the missing fisherman, we searched all Friday and sat morning finial located he missing boat 16 miles northwest of mangrove cay. Collin Rose and crew found the boat and missing men Saturday afternoon while the search airplane circulated overhead. The long 57 mile tow back was very expensive on gas. The men are reported doing fine and glad to be back home. The cost for the rescue is estimated at 3000.00 Remember BASRA is a volunteer organization who operates on donations and not government funding.
Saturday evening at 9:00 BASRA received a radio emergency call from the USA coast guard they had intercepted a vhf radio mayday from a 28 ft sports fisherman boat with 5 persons on board adrift at Great Isaacs near Bimini. The captain if the boat was Maurice Cartwright of Freeport. A rescue crew was assembled and on standby until a better solution than a long boat ride from Freeport to Bimini, No suitable boat with enough fuel could be located in Bimini. The Freeport crew would have to go and face huge waves building. I know I was one of the crew and we got really beat up. The boat was located behind the light at Isaacs and drifting west, we worried it would drift ether into the rocks to the west or out to the gulf stream and head north at 4-5 miles per hour. We could not wait till morning light as by then the boat would be 50 miles away from its present position. The waves as we approached Isaacs were 10 to 12 ft; we located the boat 5 miles west of its first position after 3 hours of beating the waves. We could not locate them at first and their radio was signal was getting week because of low battery, they fired a flare but it did not work. We located them and but the waves were too rough to take the people off the boat, so we towed them back to Freeport at 5 mph, the waves were hitting us on the side and tossed us and the towed boat around. The 37 mile tow took 7 hours in the worse sea I have ever been in. The boaters we thankful to be saved, the cost for this rescue was 1400 in gas and oil. BASRA reminds all boaters to spend a few dollars and buy flares and a safety light. This boat got in to potentially deadly situation because it ran out of gas, the owner of the boat said the gauge was not working. BASRA reminds all boaters It is very important you have enough gas for the trip and extra In case of delays or bad weather, a few minutes of checking actual amount of gas would have saved these boaters 12 hours of riding out very rough seas as well as the potential off loss of lives.