Barbados Defence Force Successful Search And Rescue Off Brandon’s Beach
The Barbados Defence Force’s (BDF) Maritime Unit, the Barbados Coast Guard (BCG) received a distress call at approximately 8:24 am on Sunday 28 February 2021. Two paddle boarders proceeded out to sea but soon encountered difficulties. One was able to make it back to shore unassisted while the other was unable to.
Fortunately, the male individual was in possession of a cellular phone and the Barbados Coast Guard Operations Centre was able to establish contact to ascertain his status. He reported that he was in difficulties off the Brandon’s area. Thereafter, BCG was unable to re-establish contact with him.
The prevailing sea conditions and high winds compounded the search, however, the paddle boarder was located by a Barbados Coast Guard vessel 4.8 nautical miles west of the Bridgetown Port at 11:40 am. The individual was rescued and brought to HMBS PELICAN. He was shaken and reported to be feeling nauseous and weak but was in no visible medical distress.
The maritime environment is a dynamic and unforgiving force of nature which can be exacerbated by abnormal weather and oceanographic conditions as in what Barbados is currently experiencing. This rescue operation goes to show that in a space of 3 hours, the significant distance an object/person subjected to high surface winds and strong currents can drift.