Sailors Saved From Rough Seas

Monday, May 20, 2002
In the third sailing vessel rescue off the Atlantic coast in a week, three sailors were hoisted this morning from their 30-ft. sailing vessel 25 miles east of Cape Hatteras, N.C., after fighting 15- to 20-ft. breaking seas and 35 knot sustaining winds for about 15 hours. John Springer, 35, of Mt. Pleasant, S.C., Wayne Ryland, 59, and Janine Ryland, 34, both of McHenry, Ill., were on the sailing vessel Bath en route to Charleston, S.C., from Maryland when they encountered rough weather. The sailors contacted the Coast Guard via VHF-FM radio at about 7:30 a.m. today requesting to be evacuated. "This case, coming right in the middle of National Safe Boating Week, illustrates several important points that mariners should keep in mind," said Lt. Cdr. Brendan McPherson, spokesperson for the Coast Guard. "Because the weather can change rapidly, boaters should monitor the latest weather reports and plan accordingly. Mariners also need a reliable means for communicating with the Coast Guard, preferably a VHF-FM radio and a 406MHZ Electronic Position Indicating Radio Beacon if they are operating off shore."

Upon receiving the call, Coast Guard Station Cape Hatteras, N.C., launched a rescue boat to assist the mariners. When the rescue boat arrived to the Bath, the crew discovered that due to the dangerous sea conditions, a safe transfer from the Bath to the rescue boat was not possible. As a result, a Coast Guard HH-60 helicopter from Air Station Elizabeth City, N.C., launched to assist. Upon arriving to the Bath at 9:20 a.m., the helicopter safely hoisted all three sailors and transferred them in stable condition to Outer Banks Memorial Hospital, Nags Head, N.C. The Coast Guard will issue a Marine Information Broadcast to notify all mariners of the drifting sailing vessel.

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