Coast Guard coordinates rescue of 3 people east of Bermuda

PORTSMOUTH, Va. – Coast Guard members found three people in distress and rescued them with the assistance of another mariner Sunday, approximately 600 nautical miles east northeast of Bermuda.

Saturday Coast Guard watchstanders in Portsmouth received an inmarsat satellite phone distress signal from a french sailing yacht at 4:45 p.m. Ten minutes later Rescue Coordination Center Gris Nez, in northern France, called reporting they had received a 406mHz radio beacon distress signal from the same yacht.

Watchstanders attempted to call their satellite phone, began broadcasting an Inmarsat C SafetyNET Enhanced Group Call to all ships in the area and contacted nearby ships participating in the Automated Mutual-Assistance Vessel Rescue System.

After multiple calls, they made contact with the sailing yacht’s crew at 7:47 p.m. and found that their yacht had flipped over from a wave and another flipped it back. The crew also reported they were wearing their survival suits. The watchstanders maintained regular contact while an Air Station Elizabeth City HC-130J Hercules aircraft crew took flight to search for the yacht and provide communications and support as two AMVER vessels were en route to provide assistance.

The AMVER vessel Wellington Star arrived and the last person was safely transferred aboard at 12:37 a.m. Sunday. They are now en route to New Bedford, Mass.

The winds were 25-30 knots with 15-18 foot seas.

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