Coast Guard aids rescue coordination near Cartagena, Columbia

1st Coast Guard District NewsBOSTON — U.S. Coast Guard watchstanders received a notification that a Maine mariner was in distress near Cartagena, Columbia, March 22, 2012.

Coast Guard 1st District watchstanders received notification from the 69-year old Belfast mariner’s daughter via phone call.

The lone mariner contacted an acquaintance, after his 27-foot sailing vessel, Amity, began taking on water approximately 10-miles north of Cartagena. The mariner was bailing water with a bucket from the vessel to keep the flooding under control.

The mariners daughter was contacted and immediately called the Coast Guard 1st District watchstanders in Boston who relayed the information to Coast Guard Atlantic Area and Rescue Coordination Center Bogata Columbia watchstanders.

A Spanish-speaking member from the 1st District helped translate information being passed to RCC Columbia and the Columbian Coast Guard to aid in the search; such as reported location and vessel identification.

The mariner only had flares and a personal floatation device, but no Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon or VHF radio.

The vessel was located and later towed to Cartagena for repairs.

“This case shows the importance of partnerships with foreign rescue coordination centers,” said Lt. Adam Schmid. “In this scenario, given the lack of life saving and communication equipment on board, RCC may have never known a vessel was in distress. An EPIRB can give the responders an edge with real-time positions.”

“The Boston office was totally amazing,” said the mariner’s daughter. “They handled this very well.”

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