The three, Roger Williams, Joseph Ennis and Noxroy Stuart, all employed to the Water Sports Department of the Grand Lido Sans Souci Hotel in St. Mary, were instrumental in bringing to shore ten scuba divers, all visitor to the island, and who were left stranded in very rough seas after their boat had capsized.
James Wettengl, Sans Souci’s Water Sports Manger said the scuba divers were lucky his rescue team was in such close proximity and that they were equipped to deal with an emergency of that magnitude. “I was in my office last week Sunday morning when I first received the call,” Mr. Wettengl said. “It was the manager of the neighboring Emerald Seas Vista who called to inform us that a boat was having an emergency at sea. I knew immediately that it wasn’t one of ours as, considering how rough the seas were, I had cancelled all our dives for that day.”
Mr. Wettengl said that from his vantage point he could recognize a dive boat that appeared badly in need of assistance. It appeared, according to him, that only one person was on the boat and the person was seen frantically bailing water from the boat.
“Once I realized what was happening, I instructed our rescue boat, a twelve foot Boston Wailer to go out and assist,” Mr. Wettengl continued. “It was rough seas and all, but we had to do something.”
The Watersports manager said that Williams, Ennis and Stuart, with buckets in hand, took the boat and headed out to sea. However, just before the San Souci resort vessel had cleared the channel, the distressed boat’s stern submerged and entirely rolled to the starboard side, almost disappearing from sight.
The captain fortunately leaped from the boat in time and, after swimming in the water for a while, was soon picked up by the Sans Souci team. Floating equipment from the boat was also recovered.
The visibly shaken captain then explained that he had several scuba divers submerged at a sunken shipwreck called the Catherine and that his boat began to take in water shortly after the divers began to dive. He also explained that he was trying to get the vessel back as close as possible to shore while simultaneously bailing the water out.
Williams, the skipper of the Sans Souci team, realizing that he needed a bigger boat went back to shore for the resort’s 19-foot paramount ski boat and with it he and his team recued the ten guests who were floating near to the Catherine wreck.
“Though badly shaken, they were very appreciative of our assistance,” Williams said. “One was suffering from extreme nausea and was throwing up badly while the others, though frightened, appeared to be okay. The way the sea was playing if we hadn’t responded in time they would surely have perished.
wExecutive vice president of the Super Clubs resort chain, Joe Issa, said that it was a policy of his hotels not to encourage scuba diving during rough seas, a practice he noted that was very dangerous.
“Sometimes the guests want to go out but the watersports personnel must be able to exercise sound judgment.” Mr. Issa said. “I am very proud of these guys and what they have done.”
Source: Cool Coastings