I know we are a couple of days early, but… I wanted to make sure we can reach you in advance so that anyone wanting to participate still can. This Sunday 31 May it is time again for the annual VISAR Swim the Sound!
It is an incredible event to support the amazing people of VISAR, Virgin Island Search and Rescue.
Imagine you are on vacation in the British Virgin Islands having the time of your life. Sailing, island hopping, family time, snorkeling, diving,…For some reason something goes wrong, you lost an engine on your boat and can’t seem to be able to get the boat on a mooring, someone fell and broke their foot, or worse… We don’t wish it upon anyone and hope none of these things ever happen to you while on vacation. Yet it is good to know that in case of an emergency you are not all by yourself out there. You can call on the help of VISAR. You can either hail them on VHF 16 or simply dial 767 on your phone and you will be put in contact with the right people to come and help you out. No matter how small or big your emergency!
Virgin Islands Search and Rescue (VISAR) is a voluntary organisation dedicated to saving life at sea. They are an officially recognized service in the British Virgin Island, in charge of search and rescue services. Every day, 24 hours a day they are there to help you out, in cooperation with the BVI police, fire and ambulance services. Even the United States Coast Guards sometimes call upon the help of VISAR. There are 2 bases, one in Tortola and one in Virgin Gorda.
Their volunteers are based all over the BVI and go from charter boat operators, bankers, accountants, dive shop operators, surveyors,…These people are all unpaid and go through serious training in seamanship and small boat-handling skills, search and rescue techniques and first aid. Just because they want to help you!
The organisation was founded in 1988 on request of the BVI Government. They used the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) in the UK, which is the world’s oldest lifeboat service as an example. Since 1988 VISAR has done well over 450 search and rescue missions, helped over 1200 people in distress and saved more than 40 lives.
Just like RNLI and many other lifeboat services they are independent, volunteered and funded almost entirely by donations. Therefore we want to shout out to everyone to help these awesome people in any way you can, from participating in Swim the Sound, donating however small the amount is or just swing by to supporter and have fun.
The annual Swim the Sound is a fundraiser with tons and tons of fun. You can participate as a swimmer or as a stand up paddle boarder.
When the race ends, WaterWorld begins at Leverick Bay! You can just join in the fun with games, music, amazing BBQ lunch and a raffle with fantastic prizes.
Tickets for this event will be available at the Tortola VISAR Base at Road Reef Marina or you can come to Leverick Bay and get your ticket at the door. Lunch is free for all Swim the Sound competitors.