The missing vessel after it was towed back to shore
The missing vessel after it was towed back to shore
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There was great concern in the early hours of Sunday morning, August 13, as four Nevis nationals were reported missing at sea. They were later found, floating off of the coast of Saba, by the crew of a fishing boat.

According to the St. Kitts and Nevis Coast Guard, the missing vessel was returning from the Anguilla Poker Run and ran into difficulties. Upon receiving the distressing news, the Sint Eustatius Coast Guard set out immediately on a search for the boat. In the dark they came upon the vessel, overturned, but without any signs of the passengers.

All through Monday the search continued, with the St. Kitts and Nevis Coast Guard joining forces with the Statia Coast Guard in the early morning, but to no avail.

Then, early on Tuesday morning, in a chance happening, a fishing boat heading out to work spotted a drifting mass in the distance, off the coast of Saba. As the boat approached the mass its form became distinguishable, and it was clear that in a turn of great fortune they had stumbled upon the missing Nevisians.

Utilising common sense and good training, the crew set about rescuing the individuals from their traumatic ordeal and towed them back to Saba, where they were deemed to be safe and in good health.


Nicholas Johnson, owner of the fishing boat that saved the day.
Nicholas Johnson, owner of the fishing boat that saved the day.

The fishing boat that saved the stranded party is owned by one Nicholas Johnson.
Kyle, one of the recovered persons, was visibly full of gratitude, and took to expressing his appreciation with his guitar.

“It’s truly overwhelming to feel the love and support from our community.”
“This morning, as the sun rose over the horizon, I stood on the shores of Saba, surrounded by the beauty of this island and the warmth of its people. I can’t even describe feeling back on solid ground after what felt like an eternity adrift. It’s a true miracle, and I owe it to the incredible efforts of the crew on Nicholas Johnson’s fishing boat.”

“And speaking of miracles, you can see my friend Sobo, another survivor… from our drifting ordeal in the background here with me, as I play this tune on my guitar with a sense of gratitude to God Almighty! It’s surreal to see us both safe and sound, knowing what we’ve been through together.”

Described as part boat-cruise, part poker game, all party, the Anguilla Poker Run is a beach-hopping, competition-filled, fun-fuelled day out. Approximately 100 vessels take part in the event and sail along the west coast of Anguilla, stopping at five designated points along the way where passengers disembark to drink, eat, and party. At every point the captain of each vessel will draw a card, and, at the last point, the crew with the winning hand will take their share of US$8000. The organisers take great care to convey to all parties that this is how winners are determined, and not by speed. As such, safe distances, speed limits, and numerous other measures are put in place to minimise risks.

The next Anguilla Poker Run, Poker Run 9, is set for 10th August 2024. All boats wishing to take part must register with the event organisers, and the registration fee is US$250. All boats are subject to stop and search by the Marine Unit and Coast Guard vessels that follow the event, and all foreign boats must register with Immigration, Customs and AASPA.


Images from St. Kitts-Nevis Times Facebook

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