Mystery boat found abandoned in Abaco

AT DAYBREAK on Saturday, early birds noticed a large vessel listing on the rocks at the entrance to the Winding Bay lagoon just outside Marsh Harbour, Abaco. No one was on board the grounded vessel, which was not there at sunset on Friday, but its dinghy may have been launched sometime before dawn. There are signs another boat may have attempted to help the stranded crew in the night, as ropes can be seen hanging free from the bow. No name could be seen from the shore, and the vessel lacks the mandatory registration information on the bow. One person who visited the scene said: "The boat has a radar antenna suggesting that the captain brought the boat there by design. It is possible that the boat experienced engine trouble or ran out of fuel and drifted there. "In that case, they were very lucky as the coasts on either side of Winding Bay are rock bluffs that would destroy a boat in short order. "If persons left on a dinghy, it might be found either in Cherokee or Little Harbour, the two closest safe harbours. If a larger outboard boat assisted, the dinghy could be towed anywhere." It is unclear if any distress calls were made from the vessel before it was abandoned. Police visited the site by car yesterday but have not made an official statement. The officer in charge of the Marsh Harbour Police Station was not available for comment. At last report yesterday, the boat was still stranded about 1,000 feet off the beach. The lagoon is surrounded by the Winding Bay Resort and Golf Club managed by the Ritz-Carlton group. Staff at the resort did not wish to speak about the boat. They said all inquiries would have to be addressed to a particular senior staff member, who was not available.


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