Yacht Race Storm Victims – Coastguard to the Rescue
Medical supplies dropped to disabled round - the - world yacht race competitors 300 miles off San Francisco
The Coast Guard Cutter Bertholf, an Alameda-based National Security Cutter, is tendering help to a damaged yacht located approximately 270 miles west of San Francisco to help three crewmembers injured as a result of heavy seas.
The Clipper Round the World Race competitor, Geraldton Western Australia, with 13 crew on board, is part of a ten-vessel around-the-world yacht race that started in Southampton, U.K. and will finish July 22 after nearly a year at sea.
An MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter from Coast Guard Air Station San Diego has flown to the cutter to prepare for rescue operations after an initial attempt to assist the injured sailors was thwarted by weather.
With the cutter’s long range rescue helicopter aboard, plans call for the aircrew to fly to the yacht, assess the crews’ injuries, and airlift any sailors who require immediate medical attention.
Earlier, a California Air National Guard parajumper rescue team from the 129th Air Rescue Wing flew to the scene aboard a Coast Guard C-130 Hercules aircraft but they were unable to parachute down to the sailboat due to rough weather conditions, but medical supplies were successfully dropped to the boat later.
The Bertholf is the first of the Coast Guard’s new fleet of National Security Cutters. Key factors in the ongoing operation are the cutter’s long range search and rescue capabilities, and flight deck capable of supporting the larger long-range helicopter.