On Saturday 11th September 2021, two (2) St. Lucians nationals Jean Pierre Charles and Jereon Toussaint were rescued by St. Vincent and the Grenadines Coast Guard Service (SVGCGS) 7.5 nautical miles northeast of Georgetown, St. Vincent.

According to a firsthand report, the SVGCGS received a distress call via Police Control at 1510hrs stating that Fishing Vessel “Forward” with two (2) St. Lucia nationals onboard encountered an engine problem and are drifting approximately 5 nautical miles off Georgetown. The Coast Guard vessel was deployed at 1525hrs to conduct searches and the vessel was rescued at 1625hrs.

According to the occupants of the fishing vessel, they left St. Lucia at 0530hrs on a fishing expedition and subsequently encountered an engine problem at 1420hrs. Emergency number 999 was dialled and they received a response from Police Control, St. Vincent and the Grenadines which resulted in the SVGCGS being deployed. The vessel and men were taken safely to Coast Guard Base, Calliaqua.

St. Vincent and the Grenadines Coast Guard Service is advising boat operators to adhere to the following Boating Safety recommendations:

  1. Check the local weather forecasts before going out to sea. 
  2. Wear a Personal Flotation Device. Bring a life jacket for everyone on board. 
  3. Take along sufficient water, at least one gallon per person, and enough food for a few days (dry food).
  4. Take along a compass, signaling device (flare, mirror), watertight torchlight and spare batteries, and a radar reflector which will assist in detection by other vessels fitted with radar.
  5. Take a Marine VHF DSC Radio. Cell phones are helpful, but the Coast Guard does not recommend their use as the main communication device. Cell phones may not obtain signals while out at sea. We recommend that you invest in a VHF radio, preferably a VHF Digital Selective Calling (DSC) Radio that offers a stronger signal and is monitored by the Coast Guard (channels 16 and 70) and other boat operators.
  6. File a Float Plan before you leave for sea and share it with someone. Tell someone where you are going, how long you intended to stay, and when you are expected back. Leave a written plan of the details of your intended voyage, your boat description, call sign, cell number, crew/passengers information, location, and expected time back. Upon departure and return it is wise to tell the marina, Coast Guard, family, or friends that you have departed or returned safely. 
  7. Carry an alternative means of propulsion (sails/oars).
  8. Practice the 1/3 Rule. Remember 1/3 of your fuel to get you to your destination, 1/3 to bring you back, and 1/3 reserve for unplanned fuel consumption.
  9. Carry an alternative means of propulsion (sails/oars).
  10. Assist other boaters who are in distress.