Saturday, February 19, 2011

Where ARE You?

Dave and I assisted in a local search and rescue mission on our way back from Treasure Cay to Man-O-War Cay a couple of days ago. As we were nearing MOW Cay, we heard a 28 foot sailboat calling for help on the VHF radio, stating that it had been dismasted. Apparently the forestay pin had come out, leaving the mast unsupported in the front and the first gust brought the mast down. As we listened, the Bahamas Air Sea Rescue Association (BASRA) answered the call and asked where the people and boat were and if there were any injuries. Thankfully no one was hurt and the woman said they were about one half mile from MOW. We immediately got out our binoculars and looked EVERYWHERE in the Sea of Abaco off MOW and could not see a dismasted sailboat. BASRA said that since there were no injuries that they would call the local marina, who in turn called one of the boatyards to go help them. Meanwhile we still could not get a sighting on the boat, which really had us wondering where they could be. The boatyard asked what their location was once again, and the lady repeated MOW. A few minutes later she announces that she was wrong about which island they were near and says it is actually Matt Lowe's Cay which is about 2 miles away! We both scanned the horizon and Dave spotted them off of another island called Point Set Rock. He calls BASRA Hope Town on the VHF and tells them we have a visual sighting of the boat and where they are really located. Immediately one of the dive operators who helps BASRA from Guana Cay called the boatyard to get the help sent in the right direction. Whew, talk about confusing!

Later, when we were back situated on our mooring in MOW, we noticed that the sailboat had been brought into the anchorage and Dave went over to get pictures. It must have been a very scary situation for the people on board. No wonder they were disoriented!

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