Caribbean sail training vessel sinks off Bahamas, six rescued, two still missing

Caribbean sail training vessel sinks off  Bahamas, six rescued, two still missing

The 90-foot schooner “De Gallant”. (Photo by Jean Jarreau)

MARIGOT--Caribbean Sail Training (CST) reported the sad news that one of its member vessels, the ninety-foot schooner “De Gallant”, sank in the Southern Bahamas on the morning of Tuesday, May 21.

Six of the cargo vessel’s crew were found wearing bright yellow survival suits and were winched to safety by a Coast Guard helicopter rescue crew from Clearwater, Florida, assisting the US Coast Guard. However two female crew members were still missing as of Thursday.

The vessel, which sank 20 miles off the Great Inagua coast, had reportedly been transporting food items from Santa Maria, Colombia, to the Azores and Portugal, sailing since May 10, and was on its way back to the Netherlands.

Blue Schooner Company (BSC) said on its website Thursday that the search and rescue operation for the two missing sailors had been called off.

“Despite our insistence on continuing the search, the scale of the resources deployed, the excellence of the U.S. Coast Guard and the weather conditions in which it was conducted force us to consider the worst-case outcome.

“It’s an upheaval for the company, the maritime community and the sail cargo community in particular, who are losing sailors and, above all, exceptional human beings. Our thoughts and attention go out to their families and loved ones. They are supported and monitored by a dedicated psychological support team, and we have been at their side since the start of operations.

“This incident, which resulted in the loss of a well-proven vessel manned by experienced professional sailors, is a reminder of the dangers of navigation and the seafaring profession.

“The sequence leading up to the sinking of the sailing cargo in the southern Bahamas remains to be clarified with the repatriated crew – including the captain, the relevant authorities and meteorological and technical analyses. “Preliminary information indicates an unexpected, extremely sudden and violent meteorological phenomenon while the ship was underway in light conditions. This would have led to its capsizing and subsequent loss at a depth of more than 2,000 metres.”

The six people rescued by helicopter on Tuesday and taken in by French diplomatic services were repatriated on Thursday. They received dedicated psychological care and were reunited with their loved ones.

St. Martin-based CST President Jan Roosens expressed his condolences to the families and the owner of the vessel, but remained hopeful for a miracle for the two missing crew. He said CST will keep the member number of the vessel (#27) in honour of the crew and the ill-fated ship.

The Daily Herald

Copyright © 2020 All copyrights on articles and/or content of The Caribbean Herald N.V. dba The Daily Herald are reserved.

Without permission of The Daily Herald no copyrighted content may be used by anyone.

Comodo SSL

Hosted by

© 2024 The Daily Herald. All Rights Reserved.