On Thursday, 26 March 2020, at 9:35 AM, the Saba Conservation Foundation received a distress call from “Zarozinia”, a small American sailing vessel, drifting about 13.5 nautical miles south-southwest of Fort Bay Harbor on the Saba Bank. Apparently, an older American couple was unable to free the ship from a line that got caught in the propeller, rendering it unmaneuverable.
After informing the coastguard and the regional Air & Sea Rescue Center in Fort de France, Martinique, it was determined to best respond to the incident from Saba. In close coordination and under clear instructions by the local disaster response team, including public health officials, harbor master and the police, the Saba Bank Management Unit vessel, Queen Beatrix II was dispatched to assist.
The crew was instructed to only remove the line and not to get in contact with anyone or other parts of the vessel itself. At 11:00 AM, 2 divers of the SCF successfully resolved the issue. Fortunately, the captain had already been able to free the boat by reversing the propeller and only a visual underwater inspection was necessary. Numerous sharks were spotted in the vicinity. After being instructed to restart the engine, the thankful couple was able to continue their voyage to Puerto Rico.
Harm to life would have been possible if no assistance was provided. No contact with the persons or parts of the vessel was made.