On Monday, May 9th a call was received that four persons (one female and three males) hadn’t returned from a hike on the North Coast Trail. The hikers had left on Sunday afternoon and up to Monday morning their families hadn’t heard from them and contacted the relevant authorities.
Immediately the Police Department and Fire Department went into action by ensuring that they hadn’t returned and hadn’t notified anyone and by preparing a search party.
The Saba Conservation Foundation and Peter Johnson accompanied the search party on the trail and Mr. Chris Meijvogel assisted with his drone. The Saba Marine Park boat was used with marine park officials and Harbour Master Travis Johnson to see if they could spot anyone from the sea.
In the early afternoon the first two hikers were found and they roughly described where the other two were. They had veered off the track and were in a precarious position on the cliff.
The search party found the last two hikers after a few hours in the late afternoon. After assessing the area where they were it was evident that ladders and other rescue gear would be needed to get them down. The search then turned into rescue and with the help of the guides and the gear the two were safely returned to the trail head at around 8:50 p.m.
The hikers were very tired but thankful to have been rescued. All four persons went to the A.M. Edwards Medical Center for observation. They were treated for minor bruises and thereafter went home to contact their families and get much needed rest.
Although we proudly boast our trails we always recommend that hikers let others know when they are going and when they can be expected to return and where they are going.
There are also a number of trails which are only recommended to go on with a guide. The Saba Conservation Foundation provides this information and we implore everyone to be safe.
The emergency services and volunteers who assisted with the search and rescue are to be commended for their teamwork. Saba may seem small but we must never underestimate her landscape and risky terrain.
Island Governor Jonathan Johnson.