Last Sunday afternoon, 30 September, Joint Marine Unit officers on board the Niven D answered three separate vessels-in-distress calls from two wave runners and a boat. JMU officers are reminding all boaters and wave runner riders to make sure that their vessels are properly equipped with lights and other safety gear, and that communication devices are in working order.
Around 4PM JMU officers on patrol in the Rum Point area came upon a wave runner with a woman and teenager on board, which had broken down near Bobby Cay. It appeared that the wave runner was disabled due to battery problems. Neither passenger was injured, and the wave runner was towed and anchored to another craft at Rum Point.
Shortly thereafter, around 5:20PM, the 9-1-1 Communications Centre dispatched the Niven D to a report of another wave runner in distress in the environmental zone in North Sound. JMU officers located the wave runner, with one man on board, at around 5:30PM near Bobby Cay. Officers learned that the wave runner had run out of fuel and that the man had been drifting; he had alerted a relative who called 9-1-1. The man was unharmed and JMU officers towed the vessel to Duck Pond.
Around 5:50PM the JMU responded to another 9-1-1 dispatch, this time from a 23ft. boat with seven souls on board which had stalled but was anchored somewhere within the reef off Pappagallo. It was growing dark at this time, and the boat was not equipped with flares. The JMU responded and located the boat after some effort off Salt Water Creek in North Sound around 6:30PM. The boat was towed to Morgan’s Harbour and secured onshore. All on board were safe and in good health.
“Responding to successive vessel-in-distress calls as we did last Sunday is becoming more common for the JMU, especially on weekends,” said Brad Ebanks, Acting Superintendent of Specialist Operations. “Boat captains should ensure that they have flares on board and file float plans, at a minimum, and wave runner riders should always be equipped with communication devices should the vessel become disabled.”