Four Canadian Wildlife Foundation rowers, 73 days into their Dakar to Miami attempt, rescued after ther row boat capsized.
Coast Guard rescue crews combined efforts with the 800-foot Panamanian flag automobile carrier, Heijin, and the 600-foot Russian flag chemical-tankship, Tanais Leader, to rescue four men from a life raft in the Atlantic Ocean, approximately 380 nautical miles north of Puerto Rico.
Rescued are U.S. citizens Jordan Hanssen, 29, and Patrick Flemming, 31, along with Canadian citizens Adam Kreck, 31, and Marcus Pukonen, 30, after a rogue wave reportedly caused their 29-foot row boat, James Robert Hanssen, to capsize.
The rescued men, who work for the Canadian Wildlife Foundation, were on the seventy third day of an estimated 100-day voyage that originated in Dakar, Senegal and would finalize in Miami, when their journey ended abruptly and they were forced to embark the row boat’s emergency life raft.
“The great coordination and swift response between our Coast Guard rescue crews and international mariners aboard the Heijin and the Tanais Leader saved four lives from the perils of the sea,” said Capt. Drew W. Pearson, Sector San Juan Commander. ”Those saved were well prepared with proper survival and distress signaling equipment as well as having a support team onshore. All boaters should be as well prepared even for short voyages, it could save their lives.”
The USCG reported that mariners aboard the Heijin safely recovered all four survivors from the life raft shortly before sunset Saturday and are transporting them to Puerto Rico.