St Kitts-Nevis Coast Guard notifies St Maarten counterparts of drifting sailboat off Saba

Photo:Dutch Coast Guard cutter “Poema” assists disabled “Caribella”

By: Erasmus Williams
Basseterre, St Kitts, November 11, 2019 – The St Maarten Rescue and Coordination Center of the Coast Guard has disclosed that it received a notification from the St Kitts authorities that a sailboat had drifted near Saba.

“The sailboat named Caribella was 32 miles south of the Saba Bank with a person on board. The captain had been drifting with his boat at sea for four days because his vessel ran out of gas,” SXM Daily News reported.

It said the Coast Guard cutter Poema from St Maarten sailed to the Saba Bank to assist the sailboat.

“Upon arrival, the Poema crew gave the captain food and water as he also ran out of food. The 74-year-old man looked very exhausted. The sailboat was initially moored in St. Eustatius where the captain indicated that he would continue sailing after resting. After being moored in St Eustatius and seeing the man’s condition, the Poema decided to drag the sailboat to St Maarten and advised the captain not to continue his journey,” said SXM Daily News.

This is the second reported contact between the St Maarten Coast Guard and the St Kitts authorities. The Poema recently handed over a distressed vessel with 35 persons – 34 Haitians and a Dominican to the St Kitts and Nevis Coast Guard.

The group of illegal immigrants were reportedly on their way to the United States Virgin Islands when the vessel went adrift due to engine problems which the captain could not fix.

The Dutch Coast Guard cutter “Poema” assisted the vessel by towing it to the nearest island, St Kitts.

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