SNSM / New intervention by rescuers from Saint-Martin on a catamaran victim of a waterway


It was just after midnight on Sunday January 31, when the volunteer rescuers from the Saint-Martin sea rescue station, returned from their first intervention two and a half hours earlier (capsized boats at Sandy-Ground), were called back by the CROSS-AG for a second intervention.

This time, it is a catamaran with a waterway via the stuffing box in its port float; the owner himself alerted the CROSS-AG, which hired the SNSM of Saint-Martin to come to the rescue with a motor pump to empty the boat.

Four team members therefore meet for a second time in a few hours at the station to take their equipment and embark on the Rescue Star with the mobile motor pump of the SNS 129. This has a greater pumping capacity because it also has a pump. fixed in addition to the mobile pump; but with a swell of 2m, it would have been too dangerous to get alongside the sailing boat in difficulty with the SNS 50; the Rescue Star semi-rigid is therefore the option chosen by the crew. Departure at 129 am and arrival in the area, near the port of Galisbay, 00 minutes later.

The sailboat is a 62 foot catamaran; the port hull is well below the waterline; the boat tilts to one side and is constantly rocked by the swell. The owner, a seasoned sailor, has installed around twenty fenders on the port side to help the hull stay afloat. With 50 cm of water throughout the port hull, there is an emergency. The Rescue Star got together, somehow with this big swell, and transferred two crew on board the catamaran with the motor pump and the pipes.

The owner, alone on board, says he went to bed early, around 20 p.m., and everything was fine, then he was woken up just before midnight by his battery charge alarm, warning that they were too low.

When he got out of bed to go see, he found himself with his feet in the water. Its fleet of service batteries being on the port side, and under water, it therefore no longer has lights, or VHF, or bilge pumps to drain, or electric guide to lift its mooring; the only solution for him was to call for help by calling 196, the emergency number of CROSS-AG.

Impossible for the Rescue Star to stay longer alongside, at the risk of tearing off her cleats, she therefore releases her moorings and remains close to the catamaran, ready to intervene in the event of a sudden shipwreck.

Fortunately, the 2 crew members transferred on board quickly set up the motor-driven pump and then began a good 2 hours of pumping. Little by little, the catamaran is dried up; the crew and the boat owner make a makeshift repair to slow the waterway through the stuffing box, estimating that this would only fill about one bucket per hour. The owner will remain on board, on standby the rest of the night, in order to monitor and empty the bucket every hour.

At 2:40 am, the Rescue Star gets back together to retrieve its 2 team members and their equipment. The owner, very grateful, thanks the volunteer rescuers of the SNSM of Saint-Martin for having saved his boat and he will do what is necessary the next day for repairs, even if it means taking his boat out of the water, if necessary.

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