Coast Guard aids sailing vessel taking on water

ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. – The Coast Guard launched rescue crews this morning to assist the crew of a sailing vessel that was taking on water about two miles south of Cape May, N.J.

Crews aboard a motor lifeboat and a rescue helicopter were directed to launch after the master of the sailing vessel Kyan reported they were taking on water in the Prissy Wick Shoals area of the New Jersey coast.

Station Cape May personnel received the radio call at about 7:20 a.m., from Robert Bodwitch, master of the 46-foot sailboat. The crew of the Kyan, homeported in Marblehead, Mass., was reportedly on a trip from Annapolis, Md., to Marblehead.

A Station Cape May rescue boatcrew immediately launched aboard a 47-foot motor lifeboat (MLB) and were on scene at about 7:42 a.m.

A rescue aircrew from Coast Guard Air Station Atlantic City launched aboard an HH-65C Dolphin rescue helicopter to assist at about 7:58 a.m.

Once on scene, the MLB crew assessed the state of the sailing vessel and felt that they could make the journey into port under their own power. The boatcrew escorted the sailboat safely in to the South Jersey Marina, where it moored at about 9:38 a.m.

The Coast Guard boatcrew credits the rescue’s positive results to the mariners’ preparation as well as their communication and navigation equipment. With the use of a marine radio, the master of the Kyan was able to contact the Coast Guard and request assistance. Additionally, the vessel’s onboard global positioning system (GPS) allowed the master to accurately communicate his position and heading to the Coast Guard crew, resulting in their quickly being found.

“We launch on a lot of search and rescue cases,” said Petty Officer 1st Class Christopher Wilborn, the rescue boat operator, or coxswain. “But, in this case, the GPS system allowed us to find the sailboat and assist them quickly.”

“The equipment is not required, but highly recommended,” continued Wilborn, who is originally from Jackson, Miss.

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