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As ABSAR’s call out volume and numbers of emergency responses increase, so do the demands on volunteers that man this invaluable service. So far to date we have had no loss of lives, and to help us continue this valuable service to the local and yachting communities, the board of directors feel that it is time to move ABSAR to the next phase of development. We are looking to find an office for a base of operations and to also to begin paying Jonathan Cornelius, a fully qualified paramedic and fire-fighter, who presently donates all of his time to the running of ABSAR.We have put together a yearly sponsorship plan to let you or your company, become involved in helping ABSAR to continue to save lives in and around Antigua & Barbuda. Attached is ABSAR’s history, a list of annual running costs, and a list of equipment that ABSAR presently needs.

ABSAR is in the process of acquiring a new boat, to replace our aging rescue boat. Some sponsorship money maybe used for this purpose. Attached is a new boat specs and cost. If you or your corporationwould like more information on contributing directly towards the boat, please call us for details.

All sponsors will get the following:

  • Logo displayed in the ABSAR office, on the ABSAR website (, and at the many fundraising events that ABSAR holds.
  • Be listed as a sponsor in the newsletter. The newsletter is mailed to all ABSAR members,sponsors, ABMA members, and anyone else who requests it.

The yearly sponsorship categories are as follows:
(All prices in EC Dollars)

Please note if you can provide us with a needed service, instead of or as well as a monetary donation we will also accept that as a form of sponsorship.
We hope that you will join ABSAR knowing that you will be helping to save lives in Antigua & Barbuda.

ABSAR’s History

Antigua Barbuda Search and Rescue (ABSAR) is a non- profit organization based at the Antigua Yacht Club Marina. It is solely run by volunteers and provides 24 / 7 emergency assistance in and around Antigua and Barbuda.

In 1996 Jonathan Cornelius contacted the race committee for the Antigua Race Week, and offered hisservices as a Paramedic. The Antigua Classic Regatta committee caught wind of his offer and contacted him about providing the same service for the Classic Regatta as well. During this time Jonathan began to cultivate a working relationship with Caribbean Helicopters, which proved invaluable during the Antigua Race Week 1996. That first year saw Jonathan operating from the committee boats of both regattas.

In 1998 Jonathan met Alex Portman in his quest for a better rescue craft to be used in the Antigua Classic and Race Week Regattas. This craft is the 27’ Revenger RIB still in use by ABSAR today. The boat has gone through 4 engine packages, a new deck, and new tubes since its manufacture.

ABSAR was formally started by Julie Harvey in 1998. Julie had been conducting aerial searches for various missing vessels using a private aircraft that she used in her private charter business. Both Julie and Jonathan saw the continued need for the development and expansion of ABSAR. Between 1998 and 2000 they worked together in assisting the marine community and providing the rescue services to the Classic Regatta and Antigua Race Week. Julie left Antigua in 2000 and turned the operations of ABSAR to Jonathan to continue ABSAR’s development.

Between 1998 and 2004 ABSAR provided mainly logistical assistance to various mariners in distress, and geared up during April each year in order to provide assistance during the regattas. ABSAR began receiving assistance from paramedic David Fletcher of the Sussex Ambulance Service, in the form of medical teams flying over from England to provide additional assistance during the Classic and Race Weeks. These teams continue to support ABSAR every year and do so at their own expense in travel,accommodations, meals and transportation to and around Antigua each April.

ABSAR needed a home for the rescue boat and a means of operations. Mr. Falcone of the Antigua Yacht Club Marina generously offered to employ Jonathan with the flexibility to respond to any emergencies even while on duty for the marina. This relationship allowed ABSAR to begin year round operations. ABSAR quickly began to see an increase in call outs both in rescue and medical incidents. A plea for volunteers was put out to the community and many experienced sailors were keen to help out. By 2006 ABSAR began to take up so much of Jonathan’s time from the marina that he resigned his position in order to allow the marina to hire a replacement.

ABSAR continues to provide emergency medical and rescue services for the Antigua Sailing Week, Antigua Classic Regattas and the many other sailing events which now take place in Antigua & Barbuda.

During 2010 ABSAR treated over 400 medical cases, responded to 72 emergencies in the response vehicles, assisted 16 vessels in distress, launched the rescue boat to 9 Mayday calls, conducted 1 helicopter aerial search with Caribbean Helicopters, supported 5 regattas and escorted 30 Trans-Atlantic Rowing boats into harbour.

ABSAR is run by a board of Directors and is headed by Paramedic & fire-fighter Jonathan Cornelius. At present ABSAR does not have any paid staff, and is operated fully by a crew of volunteers. We need your help…”so that others may live.”






Jumby Bay Resort has joined ABSAR as a Diamond sponsor.  They are covering ABSAR's fuel cost for the year.  ABSAR operates three land based emergency response vehicles and two Rescue RIB's.  Thank you Jumby Bay Resort.


Antigua Yacht Club Marina

The ABSAR Medical Station and Office is located on the ground floor of the Antigua Yacht Club Marina Resort courtesy of the AYC Marina. For many years, Jonathan Cornelius was employed by AYC Marina with the freedom to carry out his search and rescue duties.

The Mill Reef Fund

The Mill Reef Fund mission is to improve the lives of Antiguans through donations to medical, educational, general welfare and religious institutions.

Since 1960, the Mill Reef Fund has distributed over US $9 million in Antigua and Barbuda. Members and friends of the Mill Reef Club give several hundred thousand dollars to the Fund annually.


Land Rover Premier Motors Antigua

Antigua Marine Services

St. James's Club AntiguaDigicel










Antigua Yacht Club provide ABSAR with a base for our Rescue Boat operations.

Applied Science Associates They have generously provided a copy of their SARMAP software. This tool will help take the search out of Search And Rescue and enable ABSAR to get on with the rescue.