The Mayday call received on the afternoon of Saturday 31 May, was the call to arms that would eventually trigger a long and gruelling rescue operation, lasting over 13 hours. The vessel, Mocking Bird, was reportedly taking in water as well as having trouble with her sails and without fuel, putting her and her occupants in real danger.
The rescue finally ended at dawn the following Sunday. That no lives were lost was due to those involved demonstrating amazing feats of skill, endurance and commitment, superbly led by The Grenada Coast Guard.
Darren Turner, Managing Director of Prickly Bay Marina, and cruisers docked there were determined to give every assistance to the rescue operation and needed no persuasion to lend their expertise and vessels to assist.
The Grenada Coast Guard’s primary duty is to ensure lives are saved. However, working with Turner and the cruisers, the Coast Guard went beyond the call of duty in rough open waters to try to save the vessel. Having in fact to save her twice, once from the rough open waters, and then when homeward bound from the rocks at Point Salines, accompanied by Prickly Bays’ Rescue One boat.
Darren Turner, who is well known amongst the cruising community for his willingness to help anyone in distress, when asked why he personally became so involved in the rescue operation stated, “I cannot see someone in trouble and not get involved. I know how agonising it is to have to wait hoping that help will arrive.”
The Grenada Coast Guard was not present to comment, but like so many other agencies who courageously put their own lives at risk to save those in peril, undoubtedly they saw it as all in a day’s work.
This rescue, with no lives lost, was a forceful unspoken statement of the dedication, bravery and commitment of Grenada’s Coast Guard and the teamwork displayed by members of the cruiser family.