On Wednesday evening, the US Coast Guard responded to an EPIRB distress signal and rescued a man and woman from a capsized sailboat about 65 miles from Atlantic City, New Jersey.
Watchmen at the Coast Guard Fifth District Command Center in Portsmouth, Va., Were informed of the ship’s EPIRB signal on Wednesday. They contacted the emergency contact listed on the EPIRB record, and the contact reported that the sailboat – a 55-foot wooden hull vessel named Bertie – was en route from the Bahamas to New York. The owners of the ship were on the last leg of a trip around the world.
The vessel was out of range for VHF and cell reception, so watchmen hijacked the cutter Laurent Lawson at the location of the distress signal. They also sent a helicopter crew from Atlantic City Air Force Base and an HC-130 Hercules from Elizabeth City Air Force Base.
“When our helicopter arrived at the scene, the crew followed a flashing strobe light and discovered a man and woman clinging to the hull of their capsized sailboat,” said Lt. Tyler Bittner, the operations duty officer. in Atlantic City. The two sailors were hoisted aboard the MH-65 Dolphin helicopter and returned to Atlantic City Air Force Base, where they were greeted while awaiting EMS.
The crew of the FRC Lawrence Lawson approach the capsized sailboat, May 29, 2019 (USCG)
The cutter Laurent Lawson stayed behind to mark the sailboat and attempt to recover the EPIRB.
“It was an extremely difficult lift due to the conditions there, but the whole crew came together to work as a team to get the job done,” said Lt. Anthony Monteforte, one of the helicopter pilots. “I am extremely proud of my crew and all the other assets that assisted in this rescue and I am grateful that the survivors on board used a currently recorded EPIRB so that we could locate them quickly. “