UPDATE: Official says VHF radio could have prevented distress after St. Lucian fishermen got lost at sea

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UPDATE: Official says VHF radio could have prevented distress after St. Lucian fishermen got lost at sea


Maritime Rescue Coordination Center Fort de France (MRCC) has emphasised the need for St. Lucian fishermen to be properly equipped for their operations.

St. Lucia News Online first broke the news on July 8 when two Soufriere fishermen – Amil Mitchel and Nazil Jamal Henry – were rescued after they got lost at sea on Monday, July 8 on board fishing vessel “Freedom”.

The fishermen have since returned home.

“I insist on a point: using radio VHF, which is not so expensive, approximately70 €, would have avoid this distress situation. Thank you for everything you could do to improve safety at sea for Saint Lucia people, said Edouard Perrier, directeur du CROSS Antilles Guyane.

MRCC said a Dutch and a French aircraft found the men after hours of searching 80 nautical miles west of Castries.

MRCC is responsible for search and rescue at sea in a large area, from south of Saint Lucia to north of Anguilla including a large part of the Atlantic ocean.

MRCC Fort de France said it is managing SAR operations with the “very precious help of public or private assets from each country in the area”.

Last year, 1200 people were rescued by MRCC Fort de France (850 search and rescue cases).

 

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14 COMMENTS

  1. This seem quite a pretty little mess going on there you cannot get a licence without first owning a VHF and cannot own a VHF without a licence either there is a lack of understanding with this information or something is terribly wrong with the system in st lucia

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    • Either that or the person sending out this information is misinformed. Contact the NTRC to find out exactly what it entails. As far as I am aware, you can order your radios and once they are on island, you will get the serial # during customs examination. Provide that info in your application to the NTRC along with the application fee and a licence will be granted. Please verify and find out the reason a licence is required rather than commenting on speculation.

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  2. These fellows drink all the catch money and refuse to invest in their safety.Such a shame.Smh

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  3. Without repeating my first comment ad-nauseam, the fishers can of course afford a VHF radio. But they cannot buy one without a license and they cannot get a license until they supply NTRC with the make, model and serial number of their radio. Maybe SNO should ask NTRC to confirm this?

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  4. Nous par kar tan...et nous par kar comprend. I'm convinced that we have a problem when it comes to reasoning out certain things. It is as though one side of our brains don't function at all!

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  5. Thank you to Martinique, the staff of the MRCC and to France for providing this vital service.
    The National Telecommunications Regulatory Commission should listen to the MRCC advice and make it practical and possible for fishers and other small boat operators to obtain Marine VHF Radios within the law.

    As things stand you cannot get a VHF without first getting a licence but you cannot get a licence without first getting a VHF.

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    • At $10-$15 per pound of fish you would think they can afford. You still want government to give them more assistance. geez. Is it a welfare state we running? Dem fellas making enough to take care of their operations.

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