Crew of sinking yacht rescued after activating distress beacon

14th Coast Guard District NewsAPRA HARBOR, Guam – The crew of a sinking yacht activated a distress beacon 140 miles west of the Republic of Palau and was rescued from a life raft Wednesday by a nearby cargo ship.

Coast Guard Sector Guam Command Center watchstanders received an Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon notification at approximately 1:15a.m. Wednesday. Watchstanders then issued a “Safety Net” broadcast asking for any Automated Mutual Assistance Vessel Rescue (AMVER) vessels in the area to assist.

The crew of the cargo vessel Double Happiness immediately responded to the broadcast. The crew of the Double Happiness were able to make radio contact with the crew of the 45-foot motor yacht Perle. The crew of the yacht reported the vessel was quickly taking on water.

The crew of the Perle was located by the cargo vessel Ao Hong Ma at 6:45a.m. They were transferred from their life raft aboard the cargo ship. All survivors are reported to be in good health and will remain on board until the cargo ship arrives in Taiwan.

“In a situation like this, it really shows why the AMVER system can play an important part in our search and rescue operations,” said Kinney Blas, Sector Guam search and rescue controller. “The boat was in immediate danger, and it would have taken more than 48 hours for a Coast Guard patrol boat to arrive on scene. We are thankful that mariners who are part of this system are willing to go out of their way to help other mariners.”

AMVER, sponsored by the U.S. Coast Guard, is a unique, computer-based, and voluntary global ship reporting system used worldwide by search and rescue authorities to arrange for assistance to persons in distress at sea. With AMVER, rescue coordinators can identify participating ships in the area of distress and divert the best-suited ship or ships to respond.

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