This Day in U.S. Coast Guard History – January 27

Thursday, January 27, 2011

1909-The schooner Nelson Y. McFarland issued a distress call after dropping anchor near the White Head, Maine, Life-Saving Service station.  Although anchored against the tide, she was becalmed, yet her stern swung so close to the ledge that "a change of wind or tide would have thrown the vessel upon the rocks.  A pulling boat and crew from the station responded to the call and the men rowed to the ship's aid.  After a 3-hours' pull the surfmen succeeded in towing the schooner to a safe anchorage in Seal Harbor."

1993-Communications Station Guam received a mayday broadcast from the M/V East Wood.  The ship's radio operator claimed that the vessel had been taken over by hijackers and that there were 400 people in the vessel's two main cargo holds.  Another transmission claimed that 10 persons were going to be thrown overboard.  The Coast Guard dispatched an HC-130 from AIRSTA Barbers Point and ordered the CGC Rush to intercept.  A boarding team from the Rush seized the vessel and escorted it to an Army installation on the Marshall Islands.  There were 527 Chinese nationals and 10 crewmembers aboard.  The Chinese nationals were repatriated to China and nine of the crewmen were sent to Indonesia.  The 10th crewman was taken to Honolulu to investigate whether prosecution was possible under U.S. law.

(Source: USCG Historian’s Office)

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