Danish Sailors Rescued 650 Miles NE of Bermuda

Monday, May 21, 2012

USCG co-ordinates ocean rescue of two Danish sailors by Finish warship after their yacht 'Petra' sank

Watchstanders at the Coast Guard 5th District command center coordinated a rescue approximately 650 miles northeast of Bermuda with the assistance of the Joint Rescue Coordination Centre Denmark and a Finnish naval vessel.

The Coastguard received a notification from RCC Denmark, stating that there were two people aboard the sailing vessel Petra in need of assistance as the keel of the boat had become loose and the vessel was flooding.

The Coast Guard watchstanders, in Portsmouth, sent out an enhanced group call and asked the captain of the Finnish Navy Ship Pohjanmaa to assist. Watchstanders had also used AMVER, the Automated mutual-assistance vessel rescue system, to be in communications with other vessels’ crews in the area in case their assistance was needed.

The crew aboard the Pohjanmaa was approximately three hours from the sailors’ last known position when they diverted to assist with the rescue. Using the position information received from the sailing vessel’s emergency position indicating radio beacon, the command center’s watchstanders directed the crew of the Pohjanmaa, who recovered both sailors.

“Thanks to the coordinated effort and support of the AMVER vessels along with the Finnish Navy, this case couldn’t have gone smoother,” said Lt. Chris Svencer, a Coast Guard 5th District watchstander. “The sailing vessel’s extensive safety equipment on board made tracking their condition and position quick and efficient, allowing for the safe rescue of the crew.”
The crew of the Petra was traveling from St. Maarten to the archipelago of the Azores, Portugal when they abandoned ship into a life raft with a satellite phone and activated their EPIRB.

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