Rescue: A catamaran runs aground on the beach at Baie Longue


Last Thursday around 13:30 p.m., the gendarmerie was alerted by a witness that a catamaran had run aground at Baie Longue in front of the La Samanna hotel. It sends a ground patrol on the area which can only observe the facts, being unable to provide assistance from the beach.

The CROSS-AG (regional center for security and rescue operations for the Antilles-Guyana) then hired the team of volunteers from the Saint-Martin station, with the SNS 129 boat, to try to get the catamaran afloat. At 14:25 p.m., the crew received the alert from the CROSS, and SNS 129 left the Fort Louis marina at 14:45 p.m. to proceed to Samanna with 5 crew on board.

Arriving on site, half an hour later, they notice that the catamaran is placed with one hull on the rocks and the other half on the sand and in the water. The owner of the catamaran and his crew had first tried to get by on their own, with their tender, for several hours, before calling for help. A private means (motor boat) is also present with a mooring to hold the catamaran in place, in order to avoid a more important stranding on the beach, due to the swell.

One of the hotel's watersports employees comes to meet SNS 129; the SNSM decides to transfer one of its team members to the jet-ski in order to go aboard the catamaran to assess the situation and the possible options for landing it. At 15:25 p.m., when the crew was about to return to SNS 129 with the jet, the private boat gave a big gas boost just at the same time as a big wave; the catamaran takes off, swivels slightly, floats and is finally free.

The crew remains on board while the catamaran is returned to anchor; a water leak was observed at the level of the keel box, where the hull hit the rock for a few hours. The mooring that had tangled around the propeller shaft is free; both engines are running, but one of them only operates in forward gear because the inverter cable had broken when they arrived on the scene a few hours earlier; By the time they realized that the engine was not going into reverse and then shut it down, they were already on the beach.

The waterway is manageable; the automatic bilge pump does its job; and it is decided that the boat can go to a shipyard on its own, without towing. The owner's son-in-law, who also went there with another private boat, offers to escort the catamaran to Philipsburg. The SNSM picked up its teammate and, at 15:45 p.m., the CROSS gave him freedom of maneuver.

Half an hour later, SNS 129 is docked again at the Fort Louis marina, ready for any new intervention.

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