“We found a boat that was adrift with 54 Haitians on it so we helped rescue those guys and got The Bahamian Defence Force and the US (United States) Coast Guard and helped coordinate all of that,” a senior crew member of the survey vessel, Fugro Americas told reporters during a tour of the vessel at the John Fernandes Wharf.
The seafloor mapping exercise for Exxon-Mobil is expected to last two to three months.
Ocean-going vessels, regardless of their type, are required by international law to assist other vessels in distress and search and rescue. Eric Long said while the Fugro Americas was just north of the eastern tip of Cuba, he saw persons aboard the distressed vessel trying to make contact. “We just kept watching as we got closer and closer and I said hey I believe those guys are in distress,” he said.
Other crew members said the Fugros Americas stayed in the vicinity and provided the necessary support along with The Bahamian and American authorities.