Defence Headquarters, 15 October. ‘23 (RBDF): Abaco, The Bahamas – The Bahamas Air and Sea Rescue Association (BASRA), Royal Bahamas Defence Force (RBDF), Royal Bahamas Police Force (RBPF), Operation Bahamas Turks and Caicos (OPBAT), United States Coast Guard (USCG), and members of the Dundas Town Community were actively engaged in a Search and Rescue Operation for a group of fishermen who set sail from Dundas Town Abaco on a white 26ft vessel.
The fishermen were believed to be in an area frequently visited near Scotland Cay, situated 6 nautical miles northeast of Dundas Town. The RBDF Operations Command Center (OCC) made multiple attempts to contact the men, but these efforts yielded no response.
In response to their absence, family members and community volunteers united in the search for the overdue vessel, scouring Cay, Man-O-War Cay, and the Hope Town Area. RBDF aircraft C6CDF was deployed to conduct an aerial search for the missing vessel, and Lieutenant D. Mitchell reported that the overdue vessel was spotted capsized. The fishermen were found sitting atop the keel of the vessel at the position of 032° Great Guana Cay, approximately 12.49 nautical miles from their intended location.
Officials from the Bahamas Air and Sea Rescue Association (BASRA) immediately proceeded to the location of the capsized vessel, successfully rescuing two of the three crew members. These individuals were then handed over to EMT personnel for transport to the local clinic in Marsh Harbour.
The third crew member reportedly left the vessel around 2200hrs on October 12th in an attempt to swim to shore while wearing a life vest. Despite the efforts of the United States Coast Guard’s fixed-wing asset, no sign of the missing crew member was found.
RBDF Surface Air and Surface Asset, HMBS P-45, Safe Boat, and C6CDF continued their thorough reconnaissance of the search area, but unfortunately, they reported no sightings.
As a result of adverse weather conditions on Sunday, October 15th, Senior Commander Milton Munroe, the RBDF Search and Rescue Coordinator, concluded the operation at 4:45 pm.