Defence Headquarters, August 27, ‘23 (RBDF): On the morning of April 27th, an urgent distress call reached the Royal Bahamas Defence Force from the M/V Zarpe, situated off Hog Cay. The distress signal outlined a critical medical situation involving two individuals, Jean and David Knapp, who had fallen seriously ill after consuming fish contaminated with Ciguatera toxin. Their symptoms rapidly intensified, necessitating immediate medical intervention.

Chief Petty Officer Acadia Smith, Coxswain of P130, and his swift-responding team consisting of Leading Mechanic Michael Williamson, Marine Seaman Stefan Brown and Marine Seaman Brian Kemp, played a pivotal role in orchestrating the successful extraction and prompt transfer of the affected individuals to essential medical care. Their unwavering professionalism, dedication, and empathy were palpable throughout the entire operation. The Royal Bahamas Defence Force’s capability to coordinate and execute a complex extraction mission, particularly considering the remote location and limited medical resources, stands as a testament to the caliber of training and readiness our personnel uphold.

Chief Petty Officer Acadia Smith, who also had firsthand experience with Ciguatera toxin, provided invaluable insights that significantly contributed to the operation’s success. The team’s remarkable ability to extend medical support and solace to the distressed Knapp family further underscores the RBDF’s commitment to achieving both operational excellence and compassionate service.

Amidst the challenges posed by the ongoing Regatta, the crew of P130 demonstrated exceptional dedication. The Knapp family was safely transported to Duncan Town on Ragged Island, from where they were subsequently airlifted to medical facilities in Fort Lauderdale. Throughout this entire process, the team’s dedication remained unswerving, ensuring the well-being of the Knapp family from the point of extraction to their eventual return.

The Royal Bahamas Defence Force wholeheartedly commends Chief Petty Officer Acadia Smith and the entire team for their outstanding service and selflessness. Their actions profoundly embody the core values of our organization and stand as a shining example of the indispensable role the RBDF plays in safeguarding the lives of mariners and citizens alike. We take immense pride in their achievements and extend our heartfelt appreciation for their steadfast commitment to duty.

In light of this successful operation, we are prompted to reflect on the significance of our ongoing training and preparedness endeavors. The actions of Chief Petty Officer Acadia Smith and his team serve as a wellspring of inspiration for all RBDF personnel. We are honored to have Chief Petty Officer Acadia Smith as a leader within our ranks.

Recently, Jean and David Knapp expressed their profound gratitude to Chief Petty Officer Acadia Smith and his team for their extraordinary service, underscoring the lasting impact of their assistance.

Under Commodore Raymond E. King’s leadership, the RBDF has adopted a proactive approach, we aim to strengthen our capabilities to address evolving challenges. We are committed to safeguarding our nation with dedication and preparedness.

The RBDF remains dedicated to the pursuit of excellence in guarding our heritage. We are committed to upholding the highest standards as we protect and preserve the rich legacy that defines our nation.

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