The Virgin Islands Search and Rescue (VISAR) is to procure a new vessel this year amidst the reopening of their Virgin Gorda Base Station.
This announcement was made by VISAR’s Virgin Gorda action representative, Lars Giersing, at their newly-refurbished office and boathouse on the sister island this month.
“Within the next year or so we plan to purchase a new rescue vessel, for which the funds have already been secured by generous grants, mostly from the bigger establishments in North Sound, such as Oil Nut Bay, Necker Island, Bitter End Yacht Club, and Eustatia Island. The new vessel will be bigger and stronger to be able to handle rescues in the vicinity of Anegada better and safer, as the sea conditions are prone to be more severe than in other parts of the BVI” Giersing said.
Ninth District representative Vincent Wheatley commended the organisation for its dedication and commitment to servicing residents for more than 30 years; especially for their work done during the aftermath of Hurricane Irma.
“They proved themselves as a crucial service right after Hurricane Irma hit and devastated the BVI. I was part of many a mission helping to distribute supplies to the outer islands. For the first two months after the storm, the rescue vessel ‘Gorda Peak’ was the only medical evacuation option from Virgin Gorda to Peebles Hospital in Tortola. She is getting up in years and I am looking forward to a new boat being ordered this year,” Minister Wheatley said.
Meanwhile, VISAR president Gerard Kraakman said the geographic location of the refurbished base will be critical for the future operations of the organisation.
“Our Virgin Gorda Base Station is a crucial part in the operation of VISAR. Its crew of volunteers covers all incidents in the eastern part of the BVI. This base station is an imperative part not only of the Virgin Gorda community but the entire BVI” said the president.
The Virgin Gorda Crew has been an essential component of VISAR after the 2017 disasters and in 2019 so far has contributed over 350 hours of community service and responded to 10 shouts.
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