Video: Merchant Vessel Tows Sailboat to Safety

By MarEx 2016-10-21 21:44:59

On Friday, the U.S. Coast Guard medevaced three individuals from a sailboat some 200 miles southeast of Cape Fear – a rescue made easier by the fact that the boat got an emergency tow from a handysize bulker. 

Sector North Carolina watchstanders were notified by the Rescue Coordination Center at approximately 2:50 p.m. Thursday of three men who needed to be medevaced from the 40-foot sailing vessel Juste Ciel. In heavy weather, the Ciel’s French Canadian crewmembers fell ill and were reportedly suffering from dehydration and physical exhaustion. 

The 623-foot bulk carrier Privsea, an Automated Mutual-Assistance Vessel Rescue System (AMVER) participating vessel, took the sailboat in tow and headed northwest to shorten the distance for the medevac. 

Coast Guard Air Station Elizabeth City launched a C-130 and an MH-60 helicopter crew to assist. The helicopter crew flew approximately 200 miles offshore, refueled aboard the USS Mesa Verde and proceeded to the sailing vessel. The helicopter crew hoisted the three men and transported them to Air Station Elizabeth City where they were transferred to local emergency services. 

"It was an extremely well executed case with multiple assets and supporting help from the Navy and the motor vessel Privsea,” said Lt. Sean Stadig, the pilot on the case. “Thankfully the sailing vessel had an Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon (EPIRB) on board, which helped locate them. Great job and thank you to all involved."