Hampton Roads Cutter Tows Mariner to Safety

 PORTSMOUTH, Va. – The crew of the 87-foot Coast Guard Cutter Seahorse is towing a disabled 35-foot sailing vessel to Ocean City, Md., with a 68-year-old Czechoslovakian man onboard.

Coast Guard watch standers at the Rescue Coordination Center (RCC) in Portsmouth, Va., received notification Wednesday morning from the National Vessel Movement Center of a mariner in distress onboard the Maria Sorg Mutineer, a 35-foot sailing vessel with no fuel and a damaged mast and radio.

Search and rescue coordinators contacted the motor vessel Vallombrosa, an 818-foot Italian flagged vessel nearby. The Vallombrosa, a participant in the Automated Mutual Assistance Vessel Rescue (AMVER) program, provided fuel to the sail boat.

Rescue coordinators were contacted this morning by the AMVER vessel Fairchem Unicorn, a 475-foot Republic of the Marshall Islands flagged vessel, stating that they had been contacted by the master of the sailboat who stated that his vessel had ran out of fuel and had started taking on water.

Coast Guard rescue crews aboard the Coast Guard Cutter Seahorse and a rescue helicopter from Air Station Elizabeth City, N.C., were dispatched to the vessel’s location.

After arriving on scene the crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Seahorse took the sailboat in tow after a boarding team determined that the sailboat was no longer taking on water.

“If it wasn’t for the AMVER vessels this man might never have been found,” said Coast Guard Lt. Bruno Baltazar, a search and rescue coordinator at RCC Portsmouth.

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