U.S. Coast Guard, AMVER partners rescue solo Oceankite sailor

HONOLULU — U.S. Coast Guard search and rescue coordinators here teamed with a container ship crew to rescue a French adventurer approximately 1,700 nautical miles south of Hilo, Hawaii.

Rescue Coordination Center France personnel contacted the U.S. Coast Guard Joint Rescue Coordination Center (JRCC) here Tuesday at 8 a.m. concerning a disabled Oceankite sailor, Anne Quemere, 42, who was stranded in the Intertropical Convergence Zone, known as the Doldrums. The search and rescue coordinators at the JRCC then issued a Marine Assistance Radio Broadcast (MARB) asking for any Automated Mutual Assistance Vessel Rescue (AMVER) system vessels in the area to assist.

The crew of the container ship Maersk Mytilini responded to the MARB at 5 p.m. Tuesday. Quemere was brought safely aboard the ship Wednesday at 2 p.m. Quemere was reported to be in good condition.

Quemere left San Francisco Nov. 4, 2008, and sailed toward Tahiti. Her Oceankite became disabled with a torn sail and a damaged pulley system.

“In an event like this, it really shows why the AMVER system can play an important part in our search and rescue operations,” said Lt. Andrea Holt, a search and rescue controller with the JRCC. “If she was in immediate danger, we would not have been able to get there fast enough. We are thankful that mariners who are part of this system are always willing to go out of their way to help other mariners.”

AMVER, sponsored by the United States 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.

For more information about AMVER, please visit www.amver.com.

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