By Capt. d’Von M. Archer
Air Sea Rescue Association of Grand Bahama made its mandate to save persons in distress on the sea. Solely manned and operated by volunteers, BASRA has saved many lives and been involved in thousands of rescues. With the assistance of both the Bahamas Defense Force and the U.S. Coast Guard, BASRA Grand Bahama maintains a watchful eye on the Northern Bahamas seas.
Basra Grand Bahama
For the month of May, We had a total of 15 calls, 33 people assisted, 2 people died in plane crash, 2 rescue boats called out, 6 assist from USCG, 1 commercial assists, and 3 assists by others
On 5/1 at 9:15 pm
A Call came in from Stave Hanna in Freeport saying M. Cartwright and Earnest plus 3 other were broken down 10 miles north of Great Issac in a 28 foot Midnight Express, twin engine. Location 26.05-78.59. Basra immediately Contacted Bimini as the closest point, but nothing was available. BASRA then Contacted USCG, However the area was to shallow for their cutter. At 12:00AM BASRA received a updated location of 26.06.638-70.02.208, With the weather getting bad and no more options at approximately 12:30AM BASRA launched Rescue I with Capt. dâ€™Von , Joel and Bob. At approx 2:28 AM Rescue I was in contact by VHF radio, 10 to 20 minutes away from rescuing the vessel. At 3:00 AM the rescued boat was in tow, fortunately they were BASRA was able to get there quick enough as they were very close to going into the rocks at Great Isaac. Rescue I Arrived back in Freeport at 9:30 AM in 10 to 15 foot rough seas.
On 5/2 at 2:00 am
A Call from Different Jammer 33 foot sail with 2 POB, had reported lost steering trying to enter Spanish Wells Eleuthra. Located at 25.35.56-76.44.21. BASRA then could not reach anyone in Eleuthra. BASRA then Called Nassau police and reported problem. At 2:29 the Boat made its way in with rope steering. 3:00 to 6:30am, BTC phone system down, we had no contact with Nassau and no further contact with boat.
On 5/3 at 10:30 am
A Call came in from Greece Search and rescue that oil tanker Kriti Zade call sign CVAT6 is arriving Freeport harbour at 5/4 3:30AM with an injured crew member. BASRA was asked to Contact Elnet Marine to arrange for transportation to the hospital.
On 5/5 at 9:30 pm
A Distress call from boat Major Wager had a fire in the engine room. The vessel was Located 18 miles south of Freeport and 20 miles north of Great Issac headed for Palm Beach. Still running on one engine, Captain decided he will continue toward Palm Beach, and will call if he has further problems.
On 5/6 at 1:00pm
A Call came in from Miami USCG about a ship headed for Freeport Harbour with a sick crew member. Basra was asked to assist in Contacting (ISS) Inchcape Shipping Services to handle contact with USCG and transportation of crew to hospital.
On 5/8 at 8:00pm
A Call came into BASRA from a friend of Elvis that S. Cartwright plus 2, had broken down north of Cormorants Point, in their vessel located at 26.42.767-78.37.916. Boat is anchored and weather is good. Elvis was asked if they had anyone that could assist. BASRA then notified him that this is commercial assist matter and not life or death and we will notify someone to help. At 8:21 PM Cartwright suggested that Colin Rose would assist. 8:30 PM BASRA contacted commercial companies, Peter Rose and Howard, neither were available. 8:54 PM BASRA Talked to family member Samantha Williams and explained what we had been faced with and that we had no one at this time thatâ€™s knows the water to navigate safely and that we would have to wait until morning also that they were anchored and not at risk. At 11:26pm a call from Colin Rose is back at home and is going out on this rescue. Capt. Rose Returned safely with boat at 2:00 AM
On 5/8 at 10:00pm
A Call came into BASRA from Barbara Dean, that a 21 foot skiff with 6 POB had broken down between moores Island and Sweetings Cay. BASRA then Called Sweetings Cay for assistance. Finally Basra was able to get someone at 10:17pm Boat to go out from Moores Island to assist with this rescue.
On 5/10 at 7:20am
A Call came into BASRA from USCG John Berry that a sailboat (Otter 2) was aground off South Bimini, with 3 POB, location 25.34.8-79.17.9 7:30am BASRA then proceeded to call Hyrum Rolle in Bimini. At 07:45 USCG District 7 is going out to location. This rescue was then turned over to (OR&R) Ocean Rescue & Recovery.
On 5/13 at 12:30pm
A Call from USCG in Nassau that a 406 E-Perb was going off on vessel Robin 3, 35 foot power boat. Location 26.31 â€“ 78.37. That area covered all of Taino Beach and the water ways. Rescue I searched the beach area and canals and no boat was located. At 3:30 PM case closed, the signal had stopped.
On 5/15 at 5:40pm
Gary Venant from Pelcan Bay Bone Fish club, while fishing off Water Cay, spotted a flare toward Mangrove Cay around 3:00 PM. No other flares were seen or any report of an overdue vessel. Case was closed.
On 5/18 at 6:25 pm
BASRA Received a report that a 21 foot Paramount with The name Riches Boat Rental Abaco boat # 10 Fueling at Port lucaya. Contacted Riches boat Rental, boat had been sold but name has not been removed.
On 5/22 at 12:15 pm
A Call came in from USCG that they received a call from Bimini Police that a vessel (Reel Easy) reported a dingy adrift with no one on board of Cat Cay at 25.25-79.18. USCG believed it could be divers had lost dingy. Mike from Cat Cay is going out to check the dingy. No further report.
On 5/25 at 7:16 pm
A call came in from USCG John Berry that a Piper Astec with 2 POB clipped a power pole and crashed off Radio Beach North Bimini. Contacted Hyrum Rolle who was on site and knew the pilot Jimmy Johnson, both bodies recovered. USCG had Hilo and cutter on site. 2 American Tourists were injured and were flown to Nassau with server burns.
On 5/28 at 9:15 am
A Call came in from Old Bahama Bay that they are in touch by radio with a 27 foot Stratus (Amber), 2-225 hp, with 6 POB, Capt. Auldly David, is reportedly broken down 14 miles north of Dover Sound at 26.48.589-78.44.163 drifting south. At 10:20am Report to police 911 and called Sgt. Winters with harbour patrol, but nothing was available. 11:00 Old Bahama Bay lost contact. , 11:16am regained contact vessel is now located at 26.48.195-78.41.129, Capt. Vince Dean another BASRA volunteer is going out to assist in Rescue.
BASRA received a Call from RBDF who received a call from USCG Dist 7 that a 27 foot center consol with 7 POB off Cat Cay at 25.31.0-79.17.9 has a personnel locator going off. We notified Cat Cay to put out a call on 16 with no reply. USCG Hilo flew over area and alarm stopped. Dist 7 notified us to stand down.