ANTIGUA OBSERVER REPORTS ON LATE NIGHT ABSAR RESCUETuesday 11th December 2012
Rory Butler reported for Observer on a late night rescue by ABSAR.
A fundraising dinner was subsequently held at Al Porto Restaurant in Jolly Harbour on Sunday, December 9 at which more then EC $1,000 was raised in support of ABSAR. The family that was rescued that night along with many of those trying to rescue them and representatives of ABSAR were all in attendance for the event.
Observer - Friday, December 7, 2012
ST JOHN’S, Antigua – Four people from one of the French territories were rescued at sea late Wednesday night by the Antigua & Barbuda Search and Rescue (ABSAR).
The four were left stranded after the steering of the boat in which they were travelling failed.
David Mendes-Wynter was among several ABSAR volunteers who assisted in the evening rescue.
“I basically just came back in from fishing, was in English Harbour selling some fish and I got a phone call from the ABSAR director Jonathan,” Mendes-Wynter said.
“We quickly prepared the boat; we were on the water within 15 minutes or so from the phone call,” he added.
The fisherman said the rescue hit a small snag when they realised those stranded on the boat were reading their GPS co-ordinates wrong.
“They probably don’t know how to use the GPS properly because they were not giving us proper GPS co-ordinates,” Mendes-Wynter said.
“They sent out two flares. We saw one in the distance and headed in that direction, which turned out to be about seven and a half miles south-south-west of Antigua.”
“We arrived on scene and as we got close, you could see they had lights on the boat and everyone was ok. It looked like a family of four,” he added.
Director of ABSAR Jonathan Cornelius said they set off for the rescue around 8pm, reached the stranded boat around 9:05 pm and were back ashore by 11pm.
“It was really a fairly straight forward case,” Cornelius said. “It took us about an hour and a half to tow them in because you can’t do any kind of speed once you are under tow,” he added.
The ABSAR director commended the preparedness of those on the 26-foot pleasure boat.
“The preparation was good in this case in that they did have most of the safety equipment,” Cornelius said.
“(But) one thing that they didn’t have that would have helped us further was the emergency beacons,” he added.
The ABSAR director said it was also important that boaters know how to use their equipment.
“Having the equipment is nice but if you don’t know how to operate it, it doesn’t do much good,” he said.
On Sunday ABSAR – a nonprofit group – will be hosting a fund-raising buffet at Al Porto’s aimed at securing funds for a new rescue boat.
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