SNSM victim of another false alarm during night mission | THE DAILY HERALD

MARIGOT–French-side sea rescue SNSM reported that it had responded to the firing of distress rockets during the night of July 24-25, only to conclude after a long search for a distressed vessel that it had again become victim to the antics of fun-seekers.

Surveillance centre CROSS Antilles-Guyane awakened the SNSM crew from their sleep around 1:00am and alerted them to a possible emergency. Apparently, a witness in a restaurant on the beach in Baie Nettlé called the Gendarmerie to report that he had just seen no less than four successive rocket parachutes fired between his position on the beach and Port La Royale Marina.

It was not possible to say whether they were fired from the Bay of Marigot or from the lagoon just behind. The Gendarmerie sent a patrol to investigate and contacted CROSS.

CROSS launched a VHF call for witnesses to ships in the area and simultaneously asked SNSM to investigate. A crew of four members met at the station a quarter of an hour later and departed on the Rescue Star.

The SNSM crew sailed along Marigot Bay from Marina Fort Louis to Baie Nettle under a nearly full moon watching for any sign of distress, but everything seemed calm. There were no persons awake on sailboats in the area to ask if they had seen anything suspicious. With nothing to report in the bay, CROSS asked the SNSM crew to go under the Sandy Ground Bridge to search inside the lagoon. Again, there were no signs of anyone in difficulties or a vessel in distress.

After more than one hour of unsuccessful searches CROSS allowed the Rescue Star crew to return to port at 2:50am. They were tired, very wet from a sudden squall in the lagoon, and very unhappy.

“Sometimes finding nothing is worse than finding someone who is the source of the distress signals,” SNSM said in its report. “We had no way of knowing if there was a problem or if we were again victims of clowns who have nothing else to do but play with distress rockets, thus triggering teams on land and sea to search in vain for ghosts.”

Source: The Daily Herald