Four Survivors Rescued After Three Days Adrift in Caribbean

boat forces
Image courtesy USCG

Published Jan 13, 2022 12:27 AM by The Maritime Executive

On Tuesday, the U.S. Coast Guard rescued four boaters who had been adrift at sea for three days off the British Virgin Islands. 

The survivors - a French national and three Dutch nationals - set out from the island of Anguilla on Sunday morning in a 30-foot boat. They were headed on a short voyage to Saint-Maarten, just on the other side of the Anguilla Channel. However, their boat reportedly ran out of fuel, leaving them adrift.

Three days later, Coast Guard watchstanders at Sector San Juan received a call from a Virgin Islands Search and Rescue operator, who relayed a report from a good samaritan. The caller had received a WhatsApp message giving the general location of the boat, which was now about 15 nm to the south of the British Virgin Islands - far to the west of Anguilla.

Sector San Juan received the notification at 1540 hours Tuesday, and it sent out a boat crew to conduct a search. 

“The execution of this search and rescue case was superb and ended up saving four souls that were lost at sea,” said Chief Petty Officer Luis Cabrera, Coast Guard Boat Forces St. Thomas chief supervisor. “Despite the darkness of the night, our Boat Forces crew was able to execute various search patterns and locate the vessel in distress. We appreciate and thank British Virgin Islands authorities for their collaboration taking over the tow of the vessel and bringing the boaters to safety in Tortola.”