'Above & Beyond'
These were the words of Melissa Edwards, Senior Reporter with BVI Platinum, the online news service, when she took part in a training exercise in February:
'There are many professionals who are known for going
above and beyond in the call of duty, but then there are the unsung volunteers who do it for free. One such group is the Virgin Islands Search and Rescue (VISAR), a voluntary organization dedicated to saving lives at sea.
VISAR received over 80 calls in 2016. Saving lives is their motto and on Thursday, February 9 at 5:40 pm at its Road Town base, a five member crew suited up to head out to sea, responding to a distress involving a vessel with one person aboard.
This shout was a training exercise for potential members and this journalist was on board with the response team.
“We try to set up the alert system for people to get to us. We are volunteers, so we are not sitting at the end of a radio for people to call. Police and Fire know how to get in touch with us,” Phil stated.
Persons in distress can dial 767 (SOS) from any phone, including from a foreign number, and they will have direct contact with VISAR.'