On Saturday December 7th a call was placed about a sailing boat in trouble some 20 miles west of Saba. Being that the Rescue 02 is currently not operational the French side rescue boat SNS129 took the call and went for the aid of this demasted sailing vessel. However some 5 minutes later a second call was placed regarding another sailing vessel with a broken mast some 18 miles west from Anguilla. Without Rescue 02 and the French already out on a rescue the Rescue 01 was launched to assist the sailors. Rescue 01 is an open RHIB and with the downpour and very bad weather the crew knew upfront that this would be a very wet and cold ride!
Rescue 01 left base at 12:10pm and had to fight a bad sea state to get to the vessel. This took about an hour and 30 minutes. Once arrived a rescue member went on board the demasted catamaran and assisted with the cutting of the mast and lines, not an easy job at full sea and waves estimated between 25 and 30 foot.
Eventually they were able to cut off the mast and the catamaran was able to head back to St Maarten on its own engines. The tired and soaking wet rescue crew was back at base around 5.30pm. There were no injuries. The French rescue was also back at their base around 6pm with the sailing vessel they assisted in tow.
This chart shows the two locations where the rescues took place.