SNSM President René-Jean Duret receiving the cheque from the national diving instructor association.
Lifeboat “SNSM 129” is lifted into the water at a St. Malo boatyard following extensive specialist repairs. The vessel is due back in St. Martin in February to resume sea rescue missions.
MARIGOT–The French-side sea rescue association SNSM has received a 4,000- euro donation from Association Nationale des Moniteurs de Plongée (ANMP), SNSM President in St. Martin, René-Jean Duret disclosed.
The donation was officially made at the 20th edition of the diving show Salon de la Plongée held at the exhibition centre Porte de Versailles, Paris, on January 12.
In his thank-you address, Rene-Jean Duret thanked not only the national diving instructor association for its generous gesture, but all the other private individuals or companies who have contributed to the public mission of saving lives at sea.
He praised the dedication of all SNSM volunteers in St. Martin, who despite the fact Hurricane Irma impacted their homes, families, and professional lives on September 6, 2017, steadfastly continued to support the station, carrying out maintenance, taking part in training sessions, and responding to distress calls and the missions requested of them by the surveillance centre CROSS of Antilles-Guiana.
“The donation from ANMP will be used to renew certain equipment on the semi-rigid inflatable Rescue Star, which was partly damaged by Hurricane Irma, but still 100 per cent operational,” Duret said.
He added that the lifeboat SNSM 129, severely damaged in St. Martin during Hurricane Gonzalo in 2014 when it was driven onto the rocks during a rescue attempt, has been repaired in a boatyard in St. Malo and is about to go back in the water and undergo final tests before its return to the St. Martin SNSM station in February 2018.
Despite the absence of any official representation of St. Martin or St. Barths at the diving show, Duret reminded the audience that the two islands have numerous attractive dive sites and thanks to the confidence, loyalty and solidarity of tourists who take part in water sports and diving this is contributing to the island’s economic and social recovery and there is no reason whatsoever to write off the two islands as tourist destinations.