Bajan men rescued off Chateaubelair
December 15, 2006

Bajan men rescued off Chateaubelair

After being adrift at sea for four days, two Barbadian men are very lucky to be alive.

Henderson Drayton a 43 year old fisherman of Oistins and Henderson Payne, 38, a construction worker of Haggatt Hall, St Michael were admitted to the Chateaubelair Hospital and treated for dehydration and hyperthermia on Thursday December 7 around midday.{{more}}

Their ordeal began on Sunday December 3 after they left Oistins in a 12 footer 115 horsepowered inboard engine boat owned by Payne for a trial run to St Lucy in the north.

About 4:30 pm on their way back the engine broke down. They took half an hour to fix it but by then the battery gave out so the engine didn’t start. Meanwhile they began drifting with no means to call for assistance.

“At daybreak Monday morning a ship passed us but didn’t stop and between 7 and 8 pm that evening a container ship slowed but it didn’t stop”, Drayton told SEARCHLIGHT from his Chateaubelair Hospital bed.

“Late Tuesday evening a cruise liner passed about half mile away, we didn’t see anything all day Wednesday but we had taken the tarpaulin, used it to cover the boat, to make a makeshift sail so we were moving faster”, he added.

Henderson Drayton of Oistins

On Thursday morning a sailing yacht Sea Leopard went to their assistance around the Larikai Point on the northwestern coast of St Vincent and towed them to the Chateaubelair wharf. The persons they met on the jetty took them to the police station from where they were taken to the hospital.

“I have two boys 12 and 13 years old, so I bought the boat to surprise them seeing the holidays are coming up, you see we took the boat from the engineer straight to the water,” Payne told Searchlight.

Both men had nothing but high regard for the residents of Chateaubelair, the police officers at the station and the staff at the hospital.

“Doctor Goodluck is the best doctor I’ve ever met and the nurses and staff made us feel welcome, I thank the people of Chateaubelair for taking care of us,” Payne said.

Both men were discharged from the hospital on Monday.

The coastguard took their boat to the Calliaqua base for safekeeping. Payne said that arrangements were being made for them to return to their families in Barbados.