Carlos Jimenez and Ismael Vicente Lorenzo were reunited with their families after the St. Kitts-Nevis Coast Guard transported them back to Nevis late Saturday.
The two men were reported missing on April 10, after they failed to return from a fishing trip earlier that day. On April 12, Police Officers in Nevis were able to confirm with their counterparts in Saba that Jimenez and Lorenzo were in their custody. A vessel travelling between Saba and St. Maarten spotted the men sitting on top of their boat that had capsized. They were rescued and brought to Saba where they were given food, medical attention and accommodation. The men are in good health and were interviewed once they arrived in Nevis.
Commanding Officer for the St. Kitts-Nevis Defence Force Coast Guard, Major W. Andrew Bass, described the situation as “a success story” adding that it “highlights the coordinated regional effort in support of safety of lives at sea.”
He explained that the operation was coordinated by the Maritime Rescue Co-ordination Centre (MRCC) that communicates with an array of regional coast guards, other maritime commercial traffic and search and rescue aircrafts. As a result of the information relayed to the MRCC by the St. Kitts-Nevis Coast Guard, a message would have been sent to all vessels travelling within a certain area to look out for the men.
“Every bit of information provided was quickly analysed to produce general search areas to which we could deploy surface and air assets. From the family of the fishers to multiple regional agencies, participated in the search and eventual rescue and I wish to express the Defence Force Coast Guard’s gratitude to each person and department that assisted,” he said.
Major Bass encouraged fisher folk to take all the steps necessary to ensure safety at sea and to employ measures that could assisted with rescue operations should they encounter difficulties when out on fishing trips.
“I encourage the good practice of all fishers to have on board all mandatory and other necessary lifesaving equipment – notifying family, Fisheries Department and the Coast Guard of their approximate location – and the extreme importance of early notification when an incident occurs. These wise practices, I believe, will allow for speedy activation of resources in the event of unfortunate occurrences,” Bass said.
The Police would like to thank everyone who reached out, in different ways, to inquire about the fishermen’s well-being and tried to assist with locating them.