By RIEL MAJOR
Tribune Staff Reporter
THE Royal Bahamas Defence Force has assisted in the rescue of a couple who didn’t return home following a fishing trip.
In a joint effort, a new search and rescue (SAR) team consisting of the Royal Bahamas Defence Force, the Royal Bahamas Police Force, Operations Bahamas Turks and Caicos, and BASRA sprang into action after receiving a call from a concerned relative.
The two Bahamians left Moss Town, Exuma on Monday morning for a fishing trip and didn’t return home. An official alert was issued and the members of the SAR teams initiated search protocols immediately using both air and sea assets deployed from relevant agencies.
A RBDF statement read: “A helicopter from OPBAT detected them at 0800 this morning near Hawksbill Rock in the Exumas, almost 50 nm from their original position and broadcasted their location. A commercial fishing boat Weswin, which was near the area, responded and made their way to rescue the two persons onboard, another extraordinary display of community involvement that is needed to help police our nation. A police vessel would eventually bring them back safely to Exuma. Investigations are ongoing to determine exactly what went wrong.”
The RBDF statement urged boaters to always have protective equipment such as life jackets, radios, and a GPS onboard their vessels. The statement also suggested that boaters should inform a responsible person of where they plan to go and when they plan to return.
“The Royal Bahamas Defence Force embraces the opportunity to serve alongside partner agencies in protecting the maritime environment of the Bahamas,” the statement said.