Merchant vessel crew saves 4 sailors 1000 miles off Bermuda

PORTSMOUTH, Va. – The Coast Guard and AMVER, the Automated Mutual-Assistance Vessel Rescue system, coordinated with the merchant vessel La Scala in the rescue of four people from a capsized trimaran Thursday.

The French flagged sailing vessel Nim was capsized 1000 miles east-southeast of Bermuda.

Coast Guard 5th District received a 406 emergency position-indicating radio beacon alert from the French based Grig-Nez Maritime Rescue Coordination Center informing them that the 50-foot trimaran had capsized, but the sailers were doing well and staying atop the overtuned hull of the vessel.

The Coast Guard, using the AMVER system, contacted the merchant vessel La Scala, which diverted course to assist. Upon arrival the La Scala crew did not find the 4 people aboard the Nim. Shortly after, the missing crew was located and taken aboard the La Scala.

“It’s amazing stuff,” said Thomas Botzenhart, search and rescue coordinator at the Coast Guard 5th District Command Center. “It just goes to show that these AMVER vessels are like force multipliers for the Coast Guard and gives us the ability to render assistance to mariners anywhere in the world.”

“Rescues like this one would not be possible without the coordination of dedicated mariners and rescuers all over the world who are looking out for those in distress,” said Benjamin Strong, director of AMVER Maritime Relations. “AMVER’s success depends on them, and we’re glad they’re out there.”

This is the second time in 10 days the AMVERsystem has facilitated the rescue of mariners in distress. The merchant vessel Maersk Kolkata assisted a mariner aboard the sailing vessel Summer Delight 288 nautical miles from Bermuda when the mainsails where damaged and the fuel and food where running low during his voyage to Bermuda from Nova Scotia, Canada.

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