This morning the Coast Guard received a distress call that a vessel was having engine problems near Saba, on board of the vessel were presumably 2 passengers. The captain of the
vessel informed that he was drifting at sea between Saba and Sint Maarten. The Rescue and Coordination Center of the Dutch Caribbean Coast Guard, which was already in contact with the
rescue and coordination center in Martinique, received a request from Martinique to rescue the passengers on the vessel at sea.
After receiving the request the Coast Guard immediately dispatched the cutter Poema in order to rescue the passengers. The captain of the vessel reported that there are no lifesaving equipment on board of his vessel and that they needed help quickly. The cutter Poema sailed towards Saba in order to assist the passengers. Once at the scene the Poema noticed that the vessel was being towed by a smaller vessel which had offered help.
Poema took the towing over from the auxiliary boat and towed the vessel to Sint Maarten. After further investigation their appeared to be 27 people, presumably illegals, on board of the vessel.
All persons and the captain have been handed over to the KPSM and the immigration in Sint Maarten for further investigation.
Dutch Coast Guard