Bahamas Air Sea and Rescue Association (BASRA)
Grand Bahama received a call
via cell phone from a concerned parent reporting that his son and
went out conching on board a 17 foot Boston Whaler and had not returned
as yet. The Vessel departed West End, Grand Bahama on Tuesday, April 12, 2011 at approx 0800 hours. They were due in around 1600 (4pm) and
failed to show.
At 2030 (8:30pm) BASRA received a report of the overdue
vessel and began a Communication Search. Notifications to Mariners were
put out though out the night asking any Vessels in the area or passing
the area to keep a sharp look out of any sightings of the Overdue Vessel.
Information on the vessel was as follows: 17ft Boston Whaler with 3 people on board (25yr old, 23yr old and a 20 yr old), the boat is White
and Black and has an 85 hp outboard Yamaha engine, no VHF, no life jackets.
Reports revealed they departed West End en route to Memory Rock to go conching. On Wednesday morning, with still no sign of the vessel BASRA
attempted to launch an Air Search, but unfortunately at the time no planes
were available for use, and the United States Coast Guard was notified
to assist in an Air Search.
BASRA also notified all inbound and out
bound Aircraft to be on the lookout and report all sightings. At 11:30am BASRA was successful in acquiring a Pilot and
Plane to conduct an Air search for the Missing Personal and Dr. Horsfall
along with spotter Tory Simmons were preparing to take off when reports
of a Good Samaritan vessel (Blue Pearl- sailboat), while passing Mangrove
Cay (18 miles from last known position) spotted the disabled vessel
with the 3 Personal onboard.
A vessel out of West End was notified and
made way to the vessel to transport them back into West End around 1400
(2pm). Pilot, Dr. Horsfall was then stood down and returned to the Airport.
BASRA closed its case and all personal were debriefed.
BASRA urges all personal to file a proper Float Plan prior to departing the dock, have your Engines properly
checked, and make sure to carry Emergency Supplies especially VHF Radio,
GPS, Life Jackets, Drinking Water, Anchor and rope, Flash light, and First Aid Kit. These are not all things you should have on board, but
it is a good start.
BASRA Safety Tip: The speed and weight
of your vessel will increase the amount of fuel you burn, larger sea
conditions equal larger fuel bills.
You never know when a 4-hour trip can
turn into a 3-day fight for your life…