17.05.2017

SNMS (French rescue company on French side): fake alert in Anguilla

At night and in the rain, sea rescuers from Saint-Martin went out in vain. Here come the details of the event.

While some are getting ready to stay at home in a torrential rain (Tuesday, May 10th around 7:00 pm), a crew of five volunteers from the SNSM station of Saint-Martin (French National Marine Rescue Company) were dispatched to intervene following the triggering of an emergency beacon. This type of beacon (EPIRB) is activated automatically by contact with sea water and sends its position to a satellite. The location is then fast, accurate and the rescue effort is more efficient. However, the GPS position communicated by the CROSS in West-Indies/Guyana indicated a location in Anguilla. The person in charge pointed out that it would be more appropriate to send the police of Anguilla for such an intervention, but the CROSS insisted and commissioned the SNSM of Saint-Martin to go on-site. On alert, although freezing cold, crew members scanned the horizon: no sign of a boat in distress. Once there, they found at the anchor one of the boats that provides the Saint-Martin/Anguilla connection, with the powerful flash of the beacon on. It turns out that this was inadvertently triggered by the owner who left a porthole open, allowing the water to enter and wet the beacon, thus causing it to be automatically triggered.

 

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