The other evening the M/V Legacy departed MHH for Nassau traveling the inside route, as she was passing Matt Lowe’s Cay the captain made a call to the RBPF. He was seeking assistance in escorting an unruly passenger off the vessel. I do not know the nature of the situation on board, as I only heard the VHF conversation.
After numerous calls were made to the RBPF, an officer finally answered. The captain explained that a passenger had become erratic and unruly and asked that they send a police boat out to remove the person. The officer’s reply was “We don’t have a boat available”.
Can you imagine if it were a hostage situation or a medical emergency (I guess BASRA would handle this but none-the-less).
The captain then asked if they could find the local Dept. of Fisheries vessel and haste an officer out at once. The officer then replied “we don’t have a driver”. At this point I found it utterly ridiculous that my RBPF could not assist one of our local mail boats in their time of need. One would think the Defence Force would be of assistance in this situation but I have not seen a defense force patrol vessel in Abaco in over a year.
Finally frustrated, the captain stopped calling the police, he then sought out private entities to assist…namely BASRA Guana Cay and BASRA Hope Town.
A few weeks ago one of my drivers spotted a sailboat loaded with (suspected) illegal Haitians. The captain made the VHF call to the MH police Station, they also got a similar reply. They then asked what was the nearest point of land they were approaching, as they would try to apprehend them by land.
Makes you wonder what happens when they get word a boat has just been stolen or some maritime other emergency.