The Bonita Rescue

Edward Bridges 54-03
21st December 2011, 20:48
The RNLI has created a film about the Bonita rescue in 1981 -

On Sunday 13 December 1981, the cargo ship Bonita hit a hurricane in the English Channel.

It was the beginning of a week of courage and loss that will always be remembered by the RNLI.

The film features interviews with the Guernsey lifeboat volunteers who went to the aid of the Bonita crew 30 years ago - and the ship's Chief Engineer.

22nd September 2012, 22:05
Thanks for that. I have a few mates who crew our local all weather and ILB. Big respect to them all.

Geert De Vriese
20th March 2013, 21:41
I remember that day very well. I was chief officer on board the Belgian "Federal Thames". It was my first trip as chief officer. We had left Rotterdam the day before. Going down the Channel we hit one of the worst storm that I've had. We were asked to assist the Bonita. The "Federal Thames" was a bulk carrier with large deck space. We were asked to stay stand by to receive the crew of the Bonita. The helicopters were too far from their carrier to fly back. To save fuel they would drop the survivors on board our ship. Only we never got so far. During the whole afternoon they only managed to pick up a few crewmembers. I think we stayed at location untill well in the the night. The galley was ready with hot soup and warm blankets but we never used them. Then we were told we could resume our voyage because we couldn't help anyway and a lifeboat was on its way. I remember the sense of not being able to help while the ship was listing 45 degrees and she obviously could not last very long. We were happy to hear the next day that most crew survived.
The people of the RNLI have my greatest respect and admiration. Thank you for all you have done and will do in the future.
Geert De Vriese

21st March 2013, 01:43
good morning Edward bridges54-03.23, bonita rescue.i have watched your video of the lifeboat rescue.such bravery under conditions you would not think men could endure for so long,as I watched I thought of the thread we have been shown down lifeboat will you replace such bravery with the odd helicopter?to those men who did not return,may they rest in peace,and my condolenses to there family's (they who sit and wait)a great thead,stay well ben27