SNSM called out for accidental activation of distress beacon | THE DAILY HERALD

SNSM volunteers investigated the source of an EPIRB distress signal from boats in Simpson Bay Lagoon on May 4, discovering that the EPIRB had been activated accidentally. (SNSM photo)


MARIGOT–French-side sea rescue service SNSM was inconvenienced by a false emergency alarm at 11:45am Wednesday, May 4, when an emergency position-indicating radio beacon (EPIRB) emitted a distress message from Simpson Bay Lagoon.

  A small team of SNSM volunteers was formed and left on board the Rescue Star, passing under the Sandy Ground bridge, to go to the position indicated, just inside the bridge, near a shipyard. No boat in the area corresponded to the report and, after telephone confirmation by the manager of the shipyard, the boat was not located in his yard.

  At the same time, Centre Régional Opérationnel de Surveillance et de Sauvetage (CROSS) communicated a new and more precise position of the beacon, more inside the lagoon, between Mount Fortune and the causeway bridge.

  The boat located at the exact position did not correspond to the report, but it was for sale and, after contacting the seller, he authorised SNSM to come on board to try to locate the beacon. However, there was nothing on board.

  The seller called back a few minutes later to report that another boat in the area had the name of the beacon they were looking for and, indeed, this vessel was at anchor, nearby. On board, there were two boaters who confirmed that they had “accidentally” activated their beacon earlier in the morning and that they had turned it off immediately, but without informing CROSS.

  It was explained to them that it was absolutely necessary to tell CROSS when such things happen, to prevent mobilising help for nothing.  As a result, the volunteer crew members could return to port and go back to their respective professional activities.

  SNSM would like to reiterate for the umpteenth time that in case of accidental activation of a distress beacon or a flare or any other distress signal, it is always necessary to tell emergency services that it is not a real distress to prevent this kind of waste of time for rescuers.

  On Thursday, April 28, a team of five volunteers was mobilised with SNS 129 for a nine-metre dinghy stranded on the beach near Sandy Ground following an engine failure. When rescuers arrived on the spot, a dinghy was heading towards them with a person on board who reported that she was the one who had been in trouble and had alerted CROSS, but that she had just got out of trouble on her own and did not need any more help.

Source: The Daily Herald