MARIGOT–French-side sea rescue service SNSM successfully towed a fishing vessel that suffered electrical and engine failure back to port on Wednesday, February 9, after it had been drifting for a couple of days.
The nine-metre-long boat had left Guadeloupe but due to the electrical and engine failure, had no VHF, no telephone network and no means of alerting that it was “non-manoeuvrable”. The four people on board continued to fish, drifting and turning on their cell phones every few hours to try to get a signal.
After more than 48 hours, they finally managed to reach the vessel’s owner, who called the Antilles-Guyana Regional Operational Centre for Surveillance and Rescue CROSS-AG to request assistance.
There was no emergency, but they needed to be towed to the nearest port, which turned out to be St. Martin, since they were about 15 miles east of the island of Tintamarre.
CROSS then contacted the SNSM station in St. Martin at 10:30am on Wednesday, February 9, and 45 minutes later, a team of five volunteers set sail with the SNS 129 lifeboat. After almost three hours of navigation to an erroneous position at the beginning, because the boat in difficulty without electronics could not transmit its exact position, the crew of SNS 129 finally located the fishing vessel.
With the boat in tow, SNS 129 arrived in Marigot at 6:15pm. The boat was secured at anchor in Galisbay Bay, and two crew members of the fishing boat boarded SNS 129 to go ashore to get a mechanic they knew in Sandy Ground. They wanted to repair their boat as soon as possible to go fishing again immediately.
The SNSM crew spent more than seven hours to assist the fishermen adrift in the ocean.
Bron: Daily Herald