MIAMI — A Coast Guard helicopter crew rescued 12 mariners who abandoned their sinking 212-foot cargo ship beset by heavy weather from Hurricane Joaquin Thursday evening after their vessel reportedly began taking on water and listing 51 nautical miles northwest of Haiti.
Coast Guard 7th District Command Center watchstanders received a relayed message from Her Majesty’s Coast Guard, who received an Inmarsat satellite message stating the Bolivian-flagged cargo ship Minouche was listing 30 degrees to port and all 12 crewmembers aboard were making preperations to abandon ship.
The Coast Guard immediately diverted the Coast Guard Cutter Northland and launched a helicopter crew forward deployed in Great Inagua, Bahamas. A good Samaritan vessel and member of the Automated Mutual Assistance Vessel Rescue System, commonly referred to as AMVER, was also diverted to the vessels last known position.
At approximately 10:30 p.m., Thursday, the AMVER arrived on scene and located all 12 mariners aboard a liferaft. The Coast Guard MH-60 Jayhawk rescue helicopter crew arrived on scene, hoisted the survivors and transported them to Great Inagua, with no major medical concerns.
“This case is a perfect example of how important our partner agencies are when it comes to assisting in search and rescue efforts,” said Petty Officer 1st Class Joseph Medina, command duty officer for the Coast Guard 7th District Command Center. “The coordinated efforts between our Coast Guard crews and the AMVER crew allowed us to locate the individuals prior to the situation getting worse with weather still rampant from Hurricane Joaquins’ wake.”