Official relaunch of ‘MS Dolphin’, pride of St. Maarten Sea Rescue

Official relaunch of ‘MS Dolphin’,  pride of St. Maarten Sea Rescue

R4CR’s Steve Duzanson and VNP’s Chris Johnson on the “Dolphin” holding the Sea Rescue flag with Jose Sommers of R4CR (first left) and SSRF volunteers.


PHILIPSBURG--St. Maarten Sea Rescue Foundation’s MS Dolphin’s relaunch was officially baptised by Steve Duzanson of Resources for Community Resilience (R4CR) and Chris Johnson of the Dutch Representation in Philipsburg, at an informal ceremony this week at Bobby’s Marina. MS Dolphin is St. Maarten Sea Rescue Foundation’s flagship vessel that has undergone thorough improvements over the past years.

Sea Rescue’s fleet and office were profoundly damaged by Hurricane Irma in 2017, making its already complex operations of saving ships in distress more difficult. With the help of Dutch government support via the R4CR its flagship was able to be refitted in a profound manner. Amongst a major overhaul, the ship received new platforms, railings, a bridge extension, an exhaust repair, engine refurbishment and replacement, and a new air conditioning unit. The boat and its crews have resumed training in the waters around its home base Philipsburg over the past weeks.

Duzanson was elated to see MS Dolphin back in action. “We are grateful to have been able to contribute as R4CR to this project. As an island, we are dependent on the sea in many ways, for our income and supplies, and to support a nautical NGO literally putting their lives at risk to safeguard these waterways has been a pleasure.”

Also present was Dutch Government representative Chris Johnson. The Dutch Government Representation in Philipsburg supported the relaunch with badly needed life rafts. An islander himself, Johnson said: “Be it by cruise ships, sailing boats, motor yachts or connecting ferries to surrounding islands, the size of St. Maarten’s dependency on water is often underestimated. Safety is a crucial element of this large nautical economy, and for that a fully equipped MS Dolphin is a vital asset. On behalf of the Dutch representation, we wish her safe voyages.”

St. Maarten Sea Rescue Foundation has saved the lives of hundreds of seamen, passengers and tourists who navigated the islands’ territorial waters over the past 40 years. A 10-person brigade is on standby day and night in case a ship finds itself in trouble in St. Maarten waters. In conjunction with its French-side, Saban, Statian and Anguillian counterparts, the brigade is also often active beyond country St. Maarten’s territorial waters.

Secretary of the board and voluntary crew member Serge Bakker said, “Our wholly voluntary foundation stands for mutual assistance, literally day and night, as can also be seen in our logo. But 40 years of experience in assisting one another does not mean we take mutual help for granted; we know how special it is to go to great lengths to assist fellow human beings, and how to appreciate such. This is why the foundation is profoundly grateful for the assistance from R4CR and the Dutch Representative in Philipsburg. in recovering our vessel in the wake of Hurricane Irma.”

Sea Rescue is a wholly independent, non-governmental non-profit organisation. For the four decades of its existence, it has fully relied on voluntary operations and third-party donations to be able to be operational 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Especially as the main Sea Rescue vessel Dolphin is finalising its profound redevelopment, a large variety of in-kind donations is more than welcome, varying from light bulbs to motor service parts.

Should you or your company be interested in supporting Sea Rescue Foundation, let the brigade know via

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. If you are interested in volunteering for St. Maarten Sea Rescue Foundation you can find it on for more information.

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