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Good Samaritan Vessels Rescue Two Sailors Off Bermuda

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Image courtesy USCG

By The Maritime Executive 05-01-2020 09:49:01

On Friday morning, two good samaritan vessels worked together to rescue two British mariners from a disabled sailing yacht about 520 nm off the coast of Bermuda.

Watchstanders at the Fifth U.S. Coast Guard District command center received a call from the Rescue Coordination Center United Kingdom early Wednesday morning. The UK authorities reported that a 39-foot sailboat had become disabled off Bermuda due to a broken steering box. Two sailors were on board. 

The Fifth District command center activated the AMVER system to alert vessels in the area and request assistance. The product tanker Torm Laura answered the call and diverted to the scene. However, she was unable to carry out a rescue due to heavy seas, and she eventually departed.

On Friday morning, two additional AMVER vessels arrived: the tanker Magellan Spirit and the gas carrier Ethane Sapphire. The Ethane Sapphire acted as a wind barricade for the Magellan Spirit to launch a small boat and safely transfer the two British mariners on board. The Magellan Spirit and the rescuees are now en route to Spain.

The yacht was left adrift with her navigation lights on and her AIS activated, allowing her to be tracked for any future recovery operations. 

“When a mariner is experiencing an emergency far offshore, it can be unrealistic to get a Coast Guard asset to the scene quickly,” said Lt. Daniel Dunn, command duty officer at the Fifth Coast Guard District command center. “The AMVER System allows us to coordinate a rescue utilizing nearby vessels willing to help.”