SNSM tows troubled cruising yacht into Fort Louis Marina

MARIGOT–French-side sea rescue service SNSM on Saturday morning towed a cruising yacht back to port after the occupants reported fatigue and sea sickness.

SNSM volunteers were called to assist by the operational surveillance centre of Antilles-Guyane (CROSS-AG). The yacht was located between 15 and 20 miles west of St. Martin.

SNSM’s rigid inflatable RIB Rescue Star was not really suited to this operation, but according to SNSM, the Dutch-side sea rescue was not available to assist. There was a delay in departure due to Marigot being blocked by the abolition of slavery ceremony at the roundabout, and SNSM, despite the emergency, is not allowed to use emergency lights like the police or ambulance, so had to wait, according to the report. The crew of 4 finally departed at 10:10am.

CROSS relayed the GPS position of the yacht, which turned out to be 20 miles away from the coast. An hour later, SNSM crew reached the yacht. On board were a Canadian couple and a dog and cat. They had been sailing for several days, were exhausted from fatigue and sea sickness, and could not continue.

The yacht’s engine had broken down and the sails were in poor condition. The couple was heading to St. Martin in order to repair the engine. After 4 hours of towing, the yacht was brought into Fort Louis Marina at 3:10pm.

Source: The Daily Herald