By SANCHESKA BROWN
Tribune Staff Reporter
FOUR Bahamian men are lucky to be alive after the boat they were on exploded off the coast of Bimini on Tuesday afternoon.
The Bahamas Air/Sea Rescue Association’s director of operations Chris Lloyd said BASRA received a call from the police control room in New Providence that a boat exploded about 30 miles east of Bimini.
“They got a call from a police station in Bimini, who received information from an American yacht in route to Fort Lauderdale.
“Paul Millinger, who was on a large yacht called the Sea Boss, said he was east of Bimini when he saw a commercial fishing vessel explode and then catch on fire,” he said.
“He went to the area to try to make mayday calls but got no response. When he got on the scene the fire was out and there was nothing left but charred debris. He told us he searched the area for any survivors or deceased persons or something that could indicate what kind of vessel or the name of the vessel but his search turned up nothing.
“He then went further toward Bimini until he got a cell signal and contacted the police who called the Royal Bahamas Defence Force and the Coast Guard.”
Mr Lloyd said around 5pm four men showed up in Bimini in a dingy to report their vessel had exploded.
“They said it was their boat and they were the full crew and everyone was safe. At this point I do not have their names but I do know that they are from Andros.
“As far as I know the explosion was pretty intense and so police will have to take on the investigation from here. We are search and rescue and since there is no one to rescue and search for, our part in this effort has been completed.”
Officer in Charge of the Bimini Police, ASP Prince Charlton, confirmed that all men on board the boat are safe.
“They made it here on their lifeboat. The captaion said the boat’s engine caught on fire and they could not get it out, so they did a man overboard and everyone went on a the lifeboat and they made it to Bimini last night. No one was hurt and we are investigating.”