MIAMI — Four men were rescued Sunday west of Guadeloupe Island after being lost at sea for six days.
The fishing vessel departed South Leeward Coast of St. Vincent Island Jan. 12 enroute to Antigua and was later reported disabled and adrift by the brother of a crewmember aboard Jan. 14.
French, Barbadian and Dutch aircraft were launched in a combined effort to recover the men at sea.
Coast Guard Sector San Juan, Puerto Rico, received the report of the missing crewmembers and issued a urgent marine information broadcast and requested air support from Coast Guard Air Station Clearwater, Fla. After many hours of searching, the C-130 out of Clearwater located the fishing vessel and deployed a radio, an emergency position indicating radio beacon, and food and water to the disabled vessel.
The crewmembers retrieved the emergency supplies and established communications with the C-130 and passed that one of the crew displayed symptoms of severe dehydration.
The C-130 contacted a nearby vessel, Lamentin, to assist and remained on scene until the motor vessel Lamentin arrived and removed the four survivors from their boat.
After the crew aboard the Lamentin recovered the men, they continued on their voyage to St. Croix, Virgin Islands, where they will transfer the survivors to awaiting paramedics.
“Luck on behalf of the survivors along with vigilant watchstanding by the Coast Guard, and our partner agencies assisting in the search, ultimately saved the lives of these four men,” said Capt. Drew Pearson, commanding officer at Coast Guard Sector San Juan. “This case underscores the importance of having safety equipment such as an emergency position indicating radio beacon (EPIRB) onboard your vessel; the EPIRB helps us respond quickly to mariners in distress.”
For more information on EPIRBs and other signaling devices, click here http://www.uscg.mil/hq/cg5/cg5214/epirbs.asp