VISAR is asking the community to help us secure the balance of the funds needed to replace Virgin Gorda’s rescue vessel, Gorda Peak.How to Help
Virgin Islands Search and Rescue (VISAR) is a non-profit, non-government voluntary organisation dedicated to “Saving Lives at Sea”. It is the officially recognised search and rescue service in the British Virgin Islands, where it provides 24-hour cover every day of the year.DONATE HERE
In 1988, at the request of the Government the group of people running the informal search and rescue service was asked to create an “autonomous, para-professional, dedicated volunteer maritime search and rescue to be run as a Non-Profit Organization.”
VISAR’s Board of Directors is made up of 8 members who are voted in at our Annual General Meeting. The board helps to guide and carry out the organizations mission while ensuring the short- and long-term goals are being met by the crew, trainees and staff members.
Our fully trained volunteer crew, trainees and coordinators, since 2014 have given over 22,000 hours of their personal time to train, attend meetings and dedicate themselves to VISAR’s mission of “Saving Lives at Sea.”
VISAR has two base stations; one in Road Reef Marina, Tortola and the second in Virgin Gorda Yacht Harbour. Tortola has a 32-foot Parker 1000 Baltic RIB, powered by twin 300 hp outboard engines. On station in Virgin Gorda is a 28-foot TP Marine RIB, powered by twin 225 hp outboard engines.
VISAR’s rescue vessels are fully outfitted with the latest medical, vessel safety and search and rescue equipment and communication devices.
On February 1, 2017, while on a cruise, I went on a dive excursion. It started out fine, but soon into the dive, I began to experience difficulty in breathing due to a chest cold. I told the dive master I needed to ascend and proceeded to the surface. The next thing I remember was regaining consciousness in the Peebles Hospital ER. I wasn’t aware of anything going on at the time, of course, but I have since learned that from the time the distress call came into VISAR’s base at 10:45 am, 38 minutes later, I was at Peebles Hospital. WOW!! Especially in my case, why is this such a big deal? During my four days in ICU, I was told that when I arrived at the ER, my organs had begun to shut down. The doctor’s comment was actually “it was critical that you got here so fast”. I started to ask what she meant, but then stopped because I realized the answer. I truly owe my life to VISAR and will financially support it for the rest of my life.Jack Erb Texas, USA
Very helpful and caring. Last night, they rescued my nephew, Alex, a fisherman and his family at sea. God bless all of them for putting their lives at risk to rescue others.Darlene Penn British Virgin Islands
To the guys who volunteered their services, thank you so much for coming to the rescue of Dave, after he dislocated his artificial hip. We so appreciated your thorough assessment of David’s situation and want to thank you wholeheartedly. You’re the best! Thank you!Anonymous British Virgin Islands
I truly owe your team my life. I don’t even know how to begin to thank you for giving me a second chance at life. What an amazingly special group of men and women you all are, I wish I could explain how thankful and grateful I am that you came to my rescue, but I will find a way to thank you properly. You are all such special people and you will always have a big place in our hearts. Thank you, thank you, thank youAmy British Virgin Islands
I lost balance and fell into the shower cracking several ribs on the lip of the shower. Then I tried standing next to the bar in the salon. As I was standing, I started to get lightheaded. I immediately sat down again.
Our boat was anchored near Bitter End Yacht Club. Your boat showed up in approximately 30-45 minutes. They carefully loaded my wife and I on the rescue boat and we started toward Tortola. They put me on oxygen which proved to be a wise idea. As it turned out I had punctured the sac around my left lung and had severe internal bleeding that was impeding my breathing. As a result of the wonderful assistance that I got from your volunteers, I expect to make a full recovery. For that, I am extremely grateful and write to tell you my gratitude. Please convey my deep gratitude to your volunteers. They saved my life.David USA
During a dive at the RMS Rhone, one of my Sergeant’s experienced a medical emergency at a depth of about 50 feet…A crew of three VISAR volunteers responded to the scene within about 20 minutes of the phone call. The crew was extremely professional, knowledgeable, and reassuring. Thankfully, Sergeant Henderson made a quick recovery and further treatment was not necessary.
From one group of first responders to another, I would like to thank the volunteers who responded that day for their time, effort and dedication to public service
As a non-profit, non-government organization with an annual operation budget of $250,000 USD, we take pride in that VISAR will never charge you for our services! We rely solely on donations, fundraising events and grants to continue our mission of “Saving Lives at Sea.”
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