The Maritim Rescue Coordinating Centre (MRCC) received a distress call on May 10, at around 6 p.m. from somewhere in the north of the Mauritian sea. The officers found that it was originating from a boat registered under the name of Aquila. Further research showed that the boat was found at the north-east of St-Brandon.
The weather was not the ideal for a day at sea on May 10. A group of 5 Mauritians, including a skipper, quickly found out when they found themselves stranded at sea in the evening because of an engine problem. The owner of the boat informed the authorities concerned, and the MRCC, in turn, contacted the National Coast Guard based in St-Brandon after identifying the source of the signal.
The NCG of St-Brandon issued a distress call by launching an automatic identification system to catch glimpse of any boat in the surroundings.
At around 7 p.m., the cargo ship Maran Gas Posidonia was to search for the missing boat. The ship’s captain was, thankfully, able to contact the crew of Aquila. The rescue operation then started off, and lasted several hours because of the difficult weather conditions. Furthermore, Aquila’s lights were off because of low battery, which had made matters worse.
The ship Maran Gas Posidonia was ultimately able to find Aquila. They returned to Mauritius on May 12, all 5 people onboard, safe and sound, but having left Aquila behind in the ocean. The boat is still missing.