On Saturday afternoon, the U.S. Coast Guard and a merchant bulk carrier worked together to rescue two people from a sailboat that had been disabled by inclement weather about 300 nautical miles east of Cape Hatteras, North Carolina.
Watchmen at the Coast Guard Fifth District Command Center received an alert from the GEOS International Emergency Coordination Center at around 9:30 a.m., which reported that a GPS alert had been received from a vessel in distress . The alert contained the information that the vessel was in the middle of a storm and that the sails and engine were not functioning.
District Five launched a SAR crew aboard a Hercules C-130 aircraft and activated the AMVER system to call for help to merchant ships in the area.
Image courtesy of USCG
The bulk carrier KSL Santiago answered the call and sent back to meet a broken down sailboat. Despite rough seas, the crew of the KSL Santiago were able to retrieve the two sailors unharmed, and the ship resumed the route for its commercial voyage to Baltimore.
“It could have gone a lot differently given the weather conditions, the fact that the boat was broken down and it was in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean,” said Kelvin Morgan, controller of the operational unit at the center. of the Fifth District. “The fact that we have partners like the crew and the captain of the KSL Santiago allows cases like this to [end well]. “