Jonathan Cornelius is what most people would call an “ upstanding young man”. He runs the 27ft high speed ridged inflatable for the Antigua, Barbuda Search and Rescue. A.B.S.A.R. which is now based at the Antigua Yacht Club Marina at Falmouth Harbour Antigua and stands by on VHF Channel 16 which is the Antiguan Government and International emergency frequency. Perhaps it should be made clear here that the purpose of this service is to purely save lives of the people who may be in serious trouble, or have become injured around our coast. Jonathan is a fully accredited paramedic and carries a medical kit to be proud of aboard his vessel. He also works closely with a very competent lady doctor Madeleine Fraser who can meet the ABSAR boat when it returns to the island. There is also a further medical back up, Doctor Peter Bell, who is already well known to the readers of All at Sea being the author of a regular column. Doctor Bell is standing by ready to assist if required. So at long last Antigua has followed in the pioneering footsteps of the Virgin Islands and St Martin and can offer its yachting visitors the best help possible if crew members have a problem. Jonathan would like to hear from able-bodied volunteers who ( in the spirit of the Royal National Life Boat Institution of the UK) would be prepared to help man the rescue boat at any time. We should all thank Alex Portman for providing ABSAR with the long term use of a large R.I.B. and its new 225 HP motor, which now sits at the Yacht Club Marina where owner Carlo Falcone has provided permanent space. To all those who have put this much needed service together, a very big thanks indeed. Incidentally I think it was Julie Harvey who began this wonderful idea some years ago but only now can it be said that ABSAR is fully up and working.
So if you are in the area of Antigua and your crew require medical assistance in a hurry either call ABSAR on VHF 16 at the Antigua Yacht Club Marina or during the hours of darkness call Jonathan direct on telephone (268) 562 1234.
By the time you read this, the Antigua Charter Yacht Show or Meeting as it is now called will only be a memory. For the past 42 years this incredible Charter Yacht Show has been run by the Nicholson Family. I well remember the very first which to be honest was more like a couple of days off for the ladies and gents of the charter yachts. Rodney Nicholson in a chefs hat cooked up wonderful things, while Julie Nicholson rushed around like the Queen Mum at a Garden Party. Desmond Nicholson gave talks about boats, islands and even marine toilets which fascinated everyone. Meanwhile the Commander and Mrs Nicholson were…….well…….they were their normal helpful and exuberant selves.
Their presence will never ever be forgotten! The hand full of charter agents thought they were in heaven and the skippers and crews had a good time too. Of course it was soon to change but for many, many years it was a friendly get together which proved to the charter agents from around the world that their clients could have one heck of a good time on this collection of mainly old classic yachts amid the sparkling waters of the West Indies. This year with the Nicholson Family having retired the show has a new name and obviously some new ideas. Sarah and Afsaneh still run things from the Nicholson Office and I fervently hope that some of the immense fun of the show, which began in the very early days, will keep going.