Coast Guard coordinates high-seas rescue approximately 650 miles northeast of Bermuda

5th Coast Guard District NewsPORTSMOUTH, Va. — Watchstanders at the Coast Guard 5th District command center coordinated a rescue approximately 650 miles northeast of Bermuda with the assistance of the Joint Rescue Coordination Centre Denmark and a Finnish naval vessel, Saturday.

At approximately noon the watchstanders received a notification from a member of RCC Denmark, stating that there were two people aboard the sailing vessel Petra in need of assistance.

The reporting source said that they had been in contact with the crew since 7 a.m. when the sailors reported having a loose keel. The crew later stated that they were abandoning ship due to flooding.

The Coast Guard watchstanders, in Portsmouth, sent out an enhanced group call and asked the captain of the Finnish Navy Ship Pohjanmaa to assist. Watchstanders had also used AMVER, the Automated mutual-assistance vessel rescue system, to be in communications with other vessels’ crews in the area in case their assistance was needed.

The crew aboard the Pohjanmaa was approximately three hours from the sailors’ last known position when they diverted to assist with the rescue.

Using the position information received from the sailing vessel’s emergency position indicating radio beacon, the command center’s watchstanders directed the crew of the Pohjanmaa, who recovered both sailors.

“Thanks to the coordinated effort and support of the AMVER vessels along with the Finnish Navy, this case couldn’t have gone smoother,” said Lt. Chris Svencer, a Coast Guard 5th District watchstander. “The sailing vessel’s extensive safety equipment on board made tracking their condition and position quick and efficient, allowing for the safe rescue of the crew.”

The crew of the Petra was traveling from St. Maarten to the archipelago of the Azores, Portugal when they abandoned ship into a life raft with a satellite phone and activated their EPIRB.

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