RBDF gives Search and Rescue Update
STATEMENT| Defence Headquarters, 19 JULY ‘21 (RBDF): The Royal Bahamas Defence Force (RBDF) continues the search for a missing person who reportedly went missing on a Jet Ski accident 11 July 2021.
Until today, the RBDF have been actively engaged in the search for Mr. Drew Rigby, who was reported missing after a Jet Ski incident around 7pm on Saturday 11 July. The success of any Search and Rescue (SAR) mission relies on timing and an exhaustive search.
Therefore, once alerted, the RBDF responded swiftly and engaged all of her available resources to ensure the success of this particular SAR mission. In addition to the RBDF resources, the RBPF, BASRA and its network of civilian volunteers, and a number of civilian vessels provided by the family were coordinated in the effort.
These resources included three HPU Small Boat Assets, one RBDF Aircraft, RBDF Military Divers, RBDF Aerial and Submarine Drones, RBPF Small Boat, BASRA and a vast network of volunteers and vessels provided by the family (including the flying cloud, Sport fish and Marine Tow along with 3 smaller vessels and 3 jet skis). The search area cleared was approximately ten
square nautical miles (10 sq nm). This would approximately equate to searching an area from Montague beach ramp to the Arawak Cay Port facility, south to the sports center and then east to the Montague beach ramp area. This area was methodically searched by all available search
resources with a constant presence. However, due to the prevailing weather conditions (sea-state, waves and the wind) the search was at times temporarily postponed. This was done particularly at nighttime, to reduce the risk of injury to person (s) overboard, until the advantage of daylight is available, and favorable weather conditions allow the search to continue.
On Thursday morning the RBDF met with family representatives where they were updated on the progress of the search. At the time of the meeting, the RBDF was actively engaged for eighty-five (85) hours, and since the meeting continued the search for an additional fifteen hours (15), for a cumulative search time of one hundred (100) hours.
While conducting a successful SAR mission relies on timing and an exhaustive search, there are actions which the boating public can take that will increase the probability of a safe rescue. They are ensuring that vessels
have appropriate safety equipment such as GPS for identifying location, communication equipment for timely and accurate reporting of any incident, and life jackets that each person on a craft must adorn.
In addition to these actions, boaters must engage in responsible boating
practice. The combination of safety equipment, timely and accurate reporting of the incident, responsible boating practices, and the efforts of all assets engaged in the search effort would greatly improve the success rate of a SAR mission.
The Royal Bahamas Defence Force remains committed to protecting the territorial integrity of the Commonwealth of The Bahamas.