Coast Guard and AMVER partners assist in rescue of family disabled at sea

14th Coast Guard District NewsHONOLULU — Crewmembers aboard Coast Guard Cutter Galveston Island transferred four Oregon-based recreational boaters and their pet cat from the cargo ship OOCL Guangzhou, approximately 12 miles south of Oahu, Sunday after their 30-foot sailing vessel experienced a rudder malfunction while journeying from Cabo San Lucas, Mexico to Oregon.

The crew of the Guangzhou, based out of Hong Kong, rescued the boaters approximately 665 miles southwest of San Diego, Friday.

The Guangzhou is a partnering Automated Mutual Assistance Vessel Rescue Program ship and its crew responded to the sailing vessel’s distress call and launched a small boat to render assistance. After unsuccessful efforts to repair the sailing vessel’s damage, California-based Coast Guard Search and Rescue Coordinators advised the distressed boaters to abandon ship and take refuge aboard the cargo ship.

The Guangzhou diverted course from its next scheduled port of call and rendezvoused approximately 12 miles south of Oahu with a Coast Guard rescue crew to transfer the boaters to the Galveston Island. As a member of AMVER, the cargo ship is one of 19,000 vessels that voluntarily participates in search and rescue efforts worldwide. The contributions of the OOCL Guangzhou and her crew were instrumental to the rescue effort.

“Every 33 hours an AMVER ship is saving a life somewhere. This case reinforces that and underscores the way we can leverage our partnership with the commercial shipping community to save lives at sea,” said Benjamin Strong, director AMVER Maritime Relations for the United States Coast Guard.

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