Yachtsman In Critical Condition In Barbados After Accident Offshore – A Case For Coast Guard Rescue Helicopters

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Another Boom Accident On A Sailboat

Northern Ireland attorney and yacht racer John Thompson is in Barbados is critical – some say grave – condition after being hit in the head with the boom on his sailboat Avocet. Thompson was participating in the Atlantic Rally for Cruisers from the Canary Islands to St. Lucia when the accident happened last Friday. He was transferred to the cruise ship Costa Mediterranea and brought ashore in Barbados where he remains.

One newspaper article has a family member describing the prognosis as “bleak” while another report states that the Barbados specialists “are not hopeful that Dad’s injuries are operable.”

Our thoughts and prayers go out to the Thompson family.

The Barbados Coast Guard lacks a rescue and patrol helicopter division and it seems to me that as a nation of the sea, we should have this capability. Yes, we only have so much money – but again I have to ask how many societal needs we could satisfy for the price of the unnecessary renovations to Kensington Oval and the flyover project (not to mention the bribes and the waste!)

Perhaps BFP’s aviation expert Robert could do up an article about helicopters when he returns? (Thanks in advance, Robert!)

Further Reading…

Belfast Telegraph: Ulster barrister fighting for his life after sailing accident

BBC News: QC Critical After Yacht Accident

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10 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Disaster

10 responses to “Yachtsman In Critical Condition In Barbados After Accident Offshore – A Case For Coast Guard Rescue Helicopters

  1. Anonymous

    Wait a minute. Am I missing something here?

    “Thompson was participating in the Atlantic Rally for Cruisers from the Canary Islands to St. Lucia when the accident happened last Friday”.

    If the race was heading to St. Lucia why not place the onus on ST. LUCIA to acquire a helicopter?
    Why must Barbados acquire a Helicopter to rescue foreign white yachtmen? There have been many Barbadian fishermen missing at sea and I have never heard this call for a Helicopter being made. I had a friend who went to sea more than four years ago and he nor his vessel has ever been found.

    This is the same yacht race which our Caricom “friend” St. Lucia stole from us.

  2. Bajanboy

    I wonder what a helicoptor costs? Perhaps we could share the costs with Grenada, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and Trinidad and Tobago.

  3. Hants

    I totally agree we should have a helicopter as long as it is available to rescue our Local Fishermen if necessary.

  4. Undertaker

    I too join the BFP family in wishing him well, the sea and its surrounding can bring great pleasure and relaxation, and it can also help to cause great grief, especially sad when its one’s own boat the caused the damage. I was hearing around the time of the CWC that we were to purchase a helicopter, and then to transfer on to the coast guard. That would have been a great idea.

    Until………

  5. Reader

    Helicopter operations can be expensive and require careful evaluation, considering the needs of multiple agencies and differing mission requirements.

    The issue of helicopters has been under review for a couple of years and may possibly feature as a part of the ongoing upgrade of Coast Guard resources i.e. the new Coast Guard Base and patrol vessels.

  6. Manaboo

    Helicopters are very effective against drug boats, they can detect any suspicious boat from long distance and stop it with no particular struggle.

    The why the Government refuses to buy helicopters ……??? You can tell me.
    Some islands, much smaller than Barbados, have Coast Guard helicopters.

  7. lucianyute

    re:Anonymous, if the boat was in Barbados water’s how the hell you want the SLU coast guard to respond?

    but by by early 2008 St.Lucia, St. Vincent,Grenada,Barbados, Trinidad and Tobago will have armed Helicopters to protect the southern eastern caribbean provided by the TNT Government.

    If St.Lucia stole it from ual we doing some thing right.. check your minister of tourism. We will be on you’ll level in less than 5 year’s predicted

  8. Wishing in Vain

    My sympathy to the family of this gentleman as I understand that he passed away at QEH. Very sad situation for this family.

  9. White boy

    Anonymass. Would it be ok if he was a black guy from Africa sailing to st. Lucia?

    Tell me if you were driving to visit a friend in St. Lucy and got in an accident in St. George then the
    Police from St. Lucy should come to report on the accident? Or better send the ambulance from St. Lucy to help you???

  10. White boy

    Another thing ‘Anonymass’
    About St. Lucia STEELING the ARC race from us… If they got a better facility and offer a beter package you don’t think the organizers have the right to move the finish of the race? We had our turn to prove our selves and we could not hold on to it. don’t blam no body but yuh self!!