28.06.2017

A Day Charter sea trip ended in tragedy.

On Thursday, June 22, Saint-Martin SNSM station received a call from the CROSS at 11:19 to make an emergency medical evacuation on a day Charter catamaran that quickly returned to Marigot. It is about a vital emergency: a person suffering from cardiac arrest.

Four volunteer lifeguards abandon their work and are on the Rescue Star in less than 10 minutes.  A medical team of 4 people (doctor plus 3 nurses) from the SMUR as well as 3 firefighters arrive a few moments later and the Rescue Star leaves the dock to meet the boat in the channel of Anguilla.

At 11:45 the Rescue Star is coupled with the catamaran and the medical team takes the victim for treatment. The victim is a 53 year old man who suffers from ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis or Lou Gehrig's disease). He was bathing behind the boat at anchor in a bay in Anguilla, when suddenly he doesn’t feel well. The boat’s crew first thinks of a panic attack because the victim is agitated and incoherent.

His family decided to cut short the day at sea and asked the skipper to bring them back immediately to Saint-Martin.
 The crew picks up the anchor and heads for Marigot. The state of the victim gets worse, he stops breathing and his heart stops. While the skipper contacted the CROSS to give the alert, the crewman who had just passed his Medical 2 exam, began a cardiac massage.

When the Rescue Star arrives in the area, the victim immediately receives oxygen while a nurse takes over for the cardiac massage and the physician sets up the patches for the defibrillator. It was decided to try to stabilize the victim on the catamaran before transferring him to the Rescue Star. The two boats therefore remain side by side and still run towards Marigot, from which they are no longer very far.

Around 12:10 the boats are docked in front of the ferry terminal where the victim is transferred in a relief and assistance vehicle to the hospital.

Despite the rapid intervention of the  catamaran’s crew and the efforts of the medical team taken on board by the SNSM, the SAMU announces an hour later that the victim has died.

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