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THE MANY FACES OF YACHTING IN ANTIGUA
Friday 10th July 2015

Our series, 'The Many Faces of Yachting in Antigua' continues this month featuring Jonathan Cornelius, a Director of Antigua Barbuda Search and Rescue (ABSAR).  Jonathan’s family moved to Antigua in 1974 to begin work on a Christian radio station, the Caribbean Radio Lighthouse.  He was home schooled with his sister and 2 brothers along with a few other missionary kids.  Jonathan moved to the US for High School and university and graduated with a degree in Pre-Med from Bob Jones University in 1991. He became involved in pre-hospital emergency care and became an Emergency Medical Technician in 1987.  Later in 1992, he received his Paramedic qualifications.  

“I had a dream for many years of returning to Antigua to work in pre-hospital emergency medicine.  So my wife and I approached the Antigua Government with the idea to move back to Antigua and work as a Paramedic for them.  In 1995 the Minister of Health, the Honourable Hilroy Humphreys, invited us to come to Antigua and assist the government in setting up an Emergency Medical Services System.  In 1998 I had the opportunity to work in the Fire Station at the US Air Force Base and receive professional firefighting training.  In 2004 I became the Dock Master for the Antigua Yacht Club Marina, in order to make ABSAR available as a year round service.  Later in 2006 I became self-employed in order to devote more time to ABSAR.”

What is your role in the yachting community in Antigua?
I am a Director of the Antigua Barbuda Search And Rescue (ABSAR).  ABSAR provides marine rescue, emergency medical, and fire response to the maritime community of Antigua and Barbuda.

How long have you been in that role?
I have been involved with ABSAR since 2000.

Is this your first role in the yachting industry? If not, what previous roles have you had?
I first became involved with the yachting community in 1996 by acting as the Paramedic for the Antigua Classic Regatta and the Antigua Race Week.

What interested you in the yachting industry originally?
The need for Search and Rescue.

What is one of your most memorable moments during your time in this field?
Helping those in need.

What is the highlight of the yachting year for you?
Being on the water with the regattas.

Does yachting form part of your leisure activities?
I occasionally have the chance to work as delivery crew on various yachts.  I have crossed the Atlantic 3 times and made numerous trips between Antigua, Bermuda, and Newport.

What do you think can be added or worked on to improve the yachting environment in Antigua?
My next big dream is to establish a Caribbean Search And Rescue (CSAR) agency capable of providing long range rescue and major disaster relief for the Caribbean and surrounding waters.

What is your advice to someone wanting to start in the yachting field in Antigua?
Yachting is a service industry; you need to enjoy working in a service industry as well as having a love of yachting before you should consider yachting as an occupation.

We would like to thank Jonathan for taking part in our Many Faces of Yachting in Antigua series. If you know of someone working in the yachting industry who you would like to read about in Antigua’s Yachting Insider, please let us know by emailing stephanie@antiguanice.com.


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