During the Virgin Islands Search and Rescue's Governor's Reception, the Virgin Gorda team of volunteers got a very pleasant surprise. Phil Aspinall (VISAR President) proudly handed over the keys to the long awaited new rescue boat for the Virgin Gorda crew. The boat named Gorda Peak IV is a purpose-built 26' rescue rib outfitted with state of the art electronics and powered by twin 225 horsepower Yamaha engines.
Lars Giersing, crew chief of the Virgin Gorda team, was particularly happy with features of the new boat. "The VG rescue team cover an area that encompasses Cooper Island to Anegada; the larger size and power of this rib will enable us to cover a much wider range more efficiently."
"The Virgin Gorda crew have proven themselves time and again in rescues," said Aspinall. "With the addition of this new vessel they are better equipped to search larger areas, for longer and in the event of a rescue arrive on scene quicker and less fatigued, better able to assist the casualty."
Murray Maxwell, the Virgin Gorda Action Representative, said, "The new rescue boat is an exceptionally valuable tool for the Virgin Gorda based rescue team, and represents a great deal of effort and dedication both by VISAR members and VISAR's supporters in the community. We're grateful to everyone who helped make this possible."
The annual banquet, re-named the "Governors Gourmet Gathering," was a real hit this year and Rebecca Clarke VISAR executive officer, was grateful for the communities' support of the event. "The Governor serves as our patron for VISAR; we added the gourmet touch just last year and it has proven even more rewarding. Between the ticket sales and auction, we raised close to $20,000 for VISAR. In return for the amazing food and local support, we were able to promote the BVI's top notch culinary industry by hosting guest chefs," Clarke reported.
VISAR was founded in 1988 and was modeled on the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) in the UK, the world's oldest lifeboat service. Like the RNLI and many other lifeboat services in Europe, it is an independent, volunteer-based organization funded almost entirely by charitable donations, and relies very heavily on the financial support of the local community, visitors to the British Virgin Islands and people like you.
Report and photo submitted by Mike Rowe, Board Member VISAR and Course Director, Sail Caribbean Divers