Abi Hillman - Tortola Crew
Andrew Ball - Tortola Crew
Born in France, and raised in Canada and the UK, Andrew moved to the BVI in 2009 as a charter yacht Captain. Having tens of thousands of sea miles, it didn’t take Andrew joined VISAR as soon as his schedule allowed. Andrew studied Business Management at University and is the holder of a 200 Ton Master’s license as well as a Dive Master. Andrew joined VISAR in 2012.
Brian Gandey - Tortola Crew
Carina Brudenell-Bruce - Tortola Crew
Carol Smithard - Tortola Crew
Chris Cooke - Virgin Gorda Crew
Chris Haycraft - Tortola Crew
Born and raised in the BVI. always had a love to be on the Ocean from a young age. Currently working in shipping and yachts while raising two young boys who also love the Ocean, no better place than the BVI.
Cris Ruffell-Smith - Tortola Crew
In the early years of VISAR we were starting to see more medical shouts and our medical box seemed to grow and grow. Our first bit of “medicine” in the med kit was kindly donated by Dr Robin Tattersall in the form of Epi Pens. All crews were trained on this potential life saver that was to be used for a casualty suffering from anaphylactic shock. The first time it was used was during a call to a boat anchored in The Byte, Norman Island. The casualty was reported to be having difficulty breathing after being stung by a jelly fish. We were a crew of 3 that day and I took the lead as the medic. On arrival the casualty was in distress and disorientated but was conscious and sitting upright in the cockpit. The crew handed the oxygen kit over and I was just starting to administer oxygen to him when all of a sudden his eyes rolled back into his head and he became unresponsive. Knowing that it was a jelly fish sting I immediately asked the crew for the Epi Pen which seemed to sail through the air into my hands. Quickly placing the Epi Pen into the correct location, as we had been trained, I injected the medicine into him and waited the long 15 seconds before there was a gasp of air from him and his eyes opened. Visar has the equipment to save lives, it may not be used every time the boat is launched, but when it's needed it, as on this day, it resulted in a life saved! It turned out it was this couples first day out on the charter boat and on their honeymoon, hopefully we were able to give them many more anniversaries!
Dave Allen - Tortola Crew
Elaine Couper - Virgin Gorda Crew
Elwin Lee - Tortola Crew
Geoff Cooke - Virgin Gorda Crew
Gerard Kraakman - Tortola Crew
Born in Holland on June 17th, 1968, Gerard left Holland 1998 and sailed the Caribbean together with his wife and ended up in Tortola in 2000. He became a charter captain and soon after that he owned his own business, The Woodshop. He joined VISAR in 2002 and loves the concept and camaraderie of VISAR.
Hamish Masson - Tortola Crew -
"I hail from the sunny United Kingdom, arrived in the BVI and joined VISAR in March 2010. I took a hiatus out from working as a lawyer and worked as dive instructor at Sail Caribbean Divers. Sadly I have had to hang up (again) my fins and currently work as a finance lawyer for the BVI’s “leading international offshore law firm”, which is also one of VISAR’s donorsJ. In no particular order; I am on the board as VISAR’s Secretary, a Medic on VISAR crew, one of the EFR (Emergency First Responder) instructors and a member of VISAR’s “run club”, training for the Florida Keys marathon in October 2014."
Helena Sanchez - Virgin Gorda Crew
Jude Holmes - Tortola Crew
Junior Young - Tortola Crew
Lars Giersing - Virgin Gorda Crew
Born in Denmark, but without a lot of Viking background. Mariried to Linda also a VISAR Responder. While I have a degree in farm management I have been away from farming for over 25 years. My wife Linda and I moved to the US in 1987 and there I got involved with Porsches and had a Repair and Racing shop for many years in California. In 2000 I turned to professional Racing as a driver and now later as an Engineer. We moved to the BVI in 2004 with our 8 year old daughter Josephine and love it here. I have always sailed since my childhood in Denmark, and I have always owned boats. Living in the BVI we spend a good deal of time on the water and found it natural to get involved with VISAR back in 2005. We have meet great friends in VISAR and it is a pleasure to be able to help out people in need in our waters.
Laura Fox - Virgin Gorda Crew
Linda Giersing - Virgin Gorda Crew
Mark Dobson - Tortola Crew
Mark has been in the BVI for 8 years. He has 2 children who are 26 and 28 years old. Prior to coming to the BVI he ran his own transport business and originally worked in the wool textile trade dealing in all types of natural fibers, yarns, and cloth mostly in the far east markets including Hong Kong, Japan, and Taiwan.
Mark Sanders - Tortola Crew
Joining VISAR was almost inevitable for me. My boss, Barney Crook was one of the founder members, and Sam Welsh, a co-worker at TMM Yacht Charters happened to be one of the coordinators. My first crew meeting was in late 1997, after returning from a near catastrophic yacht delivery back to Europe, when Hurricane Bill ‘nearly’ had other plans for me, in the July of that year. As soon as my basic training was over, I joined one of the 3 crews. The Rescue vessel at the time was a lovely little Halmatic Artic 22 with twin 85hp Yamahas. 20 years have passed, and I still enjoy driving that old Artic 22, as TMM purchased her when she was retired from active duty – new engines and inflatable collar, but still a great little boat! I also met my wife Helen at VISAR, and we now have 2 wonderful sons, William and Charlie, so I guess you could say, in our case, VISAR doesn’t only save lives, it has a hand in creating them too!
Michael Bielstein - Virgin Gorda Crew
Neil Day - Tortola Crew
Originally from London, Neil has been working as a diving instructor in the BVI since 2007. Before he landed here he could be found driving a London bus or feeding sharks at the London Aquarium. He either loves or hates playing with old cars depending on the day and is the drummer in the greatest rock band in the BVI!
Nigel Keegan - Tortola Crew
Pam Fuller - Rescue Coordinator
Pam moved to the BVI in 2004 to work for a charter company. She is an avid diver, snorkeler and sailor who especially appreciates living where those activities are available the year round.
Paul Hubbard - Tortola Crew
Paul Hubbard is originally from Leicestershire in the UK and moved to the BVI in February 2003. Prior to living in the islands, he spent 16 years in the British Army as Royal Engineer, serving in England, Germany, Cyprus, The Falkland Islands and Northern Ireland, at the end of his service having had the rank of Sergeant for 4 years. As well as a Combat Engineer and Class 2 Fitter, he also spent 4 years as training Instructor, taking recruits from a civilian life to being a fully qualified young Soldier and Royal Engineer. Paul works in the BVI as a photographer and videographer, shooting everything from weddings, aerials and underwater and everything in-between, even the occasional shot of the VISAR Crews in action! He is a keen runner, having completed 5 Marathon's and is currently in training to tackle number 6! He is on VISAR's Board of Director's as Tortola Crew Representative and as a Helm and Medic on VISAR crew.
Phil Aspinall - Rescue Coordinator
Russell Willings - Tortola Crew
A crew member since 2005, Russell spends his free time playing with his family and coming up with increasingly age-inappropriate ways of exploring the islands, waters and skies of the BVI. When that all gets too exhausting he pops into the office and practices law.
Sally McLaren - Medical Director and Tortola Crew
Dr. Sally McLaren, VISAR's medical director, studied medicine at Oxford University and worked in Emergency Medicine in London before moving to the BVI with her fiance. She now works at the Government Hospital in the Emergency Room and enjoys spending her freetime volunteering for VISAR.
Sam Welch - Rescue Coordinator
Sergio Dantas - Tortola Crew
Originally from Sao Paulo, Brazil, Sergio moved to the BVI in 2008 to work as a Civil Engineer. Although he learned about VISAR just after arriving he only joined in 2011. He is a keen diver and is now training to do his 1st Marathon to raise funds for VISAR (He never ran more than 10km until this year!). VISAR is his BVI family.
Shawn Gilford - Virgin Gorda Crew
Simon Fox - Virgin Gorda Crew
Tom Means - Tortola Crew
Tommy Yacuk - Virgin Gorda Crew
Tony Syrett - Tortola Crew
Tony joined VISAR in 2012 following his retirement from the U.S. Department of State. He had served as a diplomat in Haiti, Paris, Cairo and Kabul as well as in the Department in Washington DC, notably on the Operations Center's Crisis Management Staff. Tony's wife, Ann, was also a U.S. diplomat and they met and married in England while Tony was serving in the Royal Navy. Entering the RN’s Naval College straight from school, Tony specialized as a weapons and electrical engineer. He also qualified as a naval diver and RYA Yachtmaster Ocean. After 20 years he left the service to move to the U.S. with his bride, naturalized as a U.S. citizen and joined the U.S. Foreign Service. Prior to relocating in the BVI, he was familiar with VISAR & its important work from previous trips to the islands and knew he would like to become involved upon his retirement. He is happy to have fulfilled that goal, working with his dedicated and energetic VISAR colleagues.