“You Make the Memories, We’ll Make the Arrangements”

The waters of the British Virgin Islands are made safe for travelers and locals alike with the help of an all-volunteer organization known as the Virgin Islands Search and Rescue, or VISAR.

VISAR was founded in 1988 and models after the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) in the UK. VISAR currently comprises 43 volunteers who serve the people of the Virgin Islands.

The organization has helped more than 1,200 people and saved over 40 lives in its many search and rescue missions. These volunteers stay up-to-date on the latest rescue and first-aid techniques through the weekly training opportunities VISAR offers.  


Virgin Islands Search and Rescue | Training

Volunteers must be trained in a diverse array of skills. Since the calls to which they respond are also quite varied. Each volunteer has a current Emergency First Responder qualification and participates in rescue boat operation and helicopter response training drills. They work with the US Coast Guard on a regular basis. VISAR based its operations on Tortola, BVI.

In addition to VISAR being an all-volunteer organization, donations are the main funding for the organization. completely by donations. They need to raise $250,000+ each year to maintain their operations. They do this through special fund-raising events, group, and individual donors. There is also the “Dollar Per Person” program, which provides the organization with one dollar for every yacht charter guest in the BVI through various companies.

These funds provide VISAR with the latest training and equipment they need in order to maintain the level of service upon which the people and guests of the British Virgin Islands have learned to rely on. We hope you never need them but when you do, every second counts. If you are making a trip down to the BVI please plan ahead and add Search and Rescue to your contact list.

“Our last family vacation to the BVI we witnessed an elderly lady get injured on Sandy Cay. I had my personal cell phone with me but I did not have VISAR in my contacts list.

Quote of an avid VISAR supporter

Visar Contact Numbers

In the BVI dial 767 for VISAR. Or you can dial +1284-494-4357.

VISAR is a non-profit, volunteer-operated organization. For more information about VISAR, visit

BVISAIL and Caribbean Yacht Charters, a division of CKIM Group Inc., are supporters of VISAR.

Contact us at 1-321-777-1707 or complete this form to discuss your vacation plans.