photo: Saba Conservation Foundation

THE BOTTOM – The Greg Slyngstad’s Bieker 53 multihull Fujin has capsized during the RORC Caribbean 600 on Saba. “The captain and crew of the vessel were very professional and treated me with dignity and respect,” stated Nicholas Johnson local fisherman for more than 25 years.

On Monday 19th February at 20:20 AST, Fujin capsized close to Saba and the eight-man crew were observed standing on the up-turned hull. All of the crew are now safe.

Stephen Cucchiaro’s Gunboat 60 Flow stood by while rescue agencies co-ordinated the rescue efforts, RORC Race Manager Chris Stone issued a statement on behalf of the race organisers, The Royal Ocean Racing Club according to RORC Caribbean 600 Race Minisite.

State of Emergency
“While monitoring the VHF radio at home, I was listening to an exchange between the Caribbean Explorer and another sail boat (Flow) that was participating in the race (RORC Caribbean 600) when the coastguard at Fort-de-France aired over the radio that they had received an emergency signal from the Fujin on the AIS(Automatic identification system), expressed Johnson.

Johnson further continued, “I sent a message to a friend to be on standby and shortly after made the decision to go and assist. I noticed that the crew were very knowledgeable about their craft and made the rescue go more smoothly.

Photo: Saba Conservation Foundation

Await for help
According to Island Government of Saba, in order to save the capsized vessel, the captains decided not to bring the passengers on shore to receive medical attention and other assistance. The captain of the capsized vessel decided that he and his crew would remain on the fishing vessel to tow the vessel in. Taking the decision of the two captains to accept full responsibility for all further actions and measures, the emergency services scaled down

“When circumstances become beyond my capability and emergency services ARE requested, then I contact the appropriate emergency services to handle the task. I appreciate the help of Lady Rebecca in successfully retrieving the unmanned life-raft”, said Johnson.

All eight crew are safe. Stephen Cucchiaro’s Gunboat 60 Flow stood by until Dutch/ French authorities organised a rescue vessel.