Medical supplies dropped off to yacht crew 300 miles off San Francisco

11th Coast Guard District NewsALAMEDA, Calif. — The Coast Guard Cutter Bertholf, an Alameda-based National Security Cutter, is steaming toward a damaged yacht located approximately 270 miles west of San Francisco to help three crewmembers injured as a result of heavy seas.

With the cutter’s long range rescue helicopter aboard, plans call for the aircrew to fly to the yacht, assess the crews’ injuries, and airlift any sailors who require immediate medical attention.

An MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter from Coast Guard Air Station San Diego flew to the cutter yesterday to prepare for today’s rescue operation after an initial attempt to assist the injured sailors was thwarted by weather.

Earlier, a California Air National Guard parajumper rescue team from the 129th Air Rescue Wing flew to the scene aboard a Coast Guard C-130 Hercules aircraft but they were unable to parachute down to the sailboat due to rough weather conditions. Medical supplies were successfully dropped to the boat at 6 p.m., Saturday.

The Bertholf is the first of the Coast Guard’s new fleet of National Security Cutters. Key factors in the ongoing operation are the cutter’s long range search and rescue capabilities, and flight deck capable of supporting the larger long-range helicopter.

The Clipper Round the World Race Yacht, Geraldton Western Australia (CV6), with 13 crew on board, is part of a ten-vessel around-the-world yacht race that started in Southampton, U.K. and will finish July 22 after nearly a year at sea.

Nine of the ten-strong fleet are currently docked in Jack London Square, with the Geraldton Western Australia yacht expected to arrive sometime tomorrow afternoon.

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