Coast Guard searching for 2 missing off Bermuda

Elizabeth City, NC (-The HC-130 Hercules is a long-range surveillance and transport, fixed-wing aircraft that is used to perform search and rescue, enforcement of laws and treaties including illegal drug interdiction, marine environmental protection, military readiness, and International Ice Patrol missions, as well as cargo and personnel transport.  USCG photo by BROWN, TELFAIR H. PA1

USCG C-130 File Photo

PORTSMOUTH, Va. — The Coast Guard is searching the Atlantic Ocean 210 nautical miles southwest of Bermuda for two sailors aboard a 31-foot sailing vessel Thursday.

The missing sailors were transiting from the Dominican Republic to Bermuda when they contacted Rescue Co-ordination Center Bermuda requesting assistance because they had run out of food, water and gasoline.

Wednesday, RCC Bermuda diverted a merchant vessel whose crew was able to supply the two sailors with 60 gallons of water and enough food for 7 to 10 days. They were unable to provide any gasoline but the crew of the merchant vessel noted that the sails, although in poor condition, were usable.

After the merchant vessel left the scene the RCC lost all communication with the two sailors.

Citing several reasons for concern including the condition of the sailing vessel, the apparent lack of experience of the crew and their lack of an Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon, RCC Bermuda asked the Coast Guard to assist in relocating the vessel.

At approximately 6:30 a.m., the Coast Guard launched a C-130 rescue crew from Coast Guard Air Station Elizabeth City, N.C., in support of the search efforts.

At approximately 8:30 a.m. the C-130 crew arrived on scene and began their search.

The vessel is described as a Bermuda registered, 31-foot ketch sailing vessel with a white hull and a maroon dodger covering the cockpit.

The RCC and Coast Guard are asking anyone with information on the sailing vessel to make reports to RCC Bermuda at 1-441-297-1010 or RCC Norfolk, Va., at 757-398-6390.

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