Coast Guard coordinates rescue of 2 from disabled sailboat

Coast Guard Air Station Elizabeth City HC-130 Hercules aircraft file photo.

Coast Guard Air Station Elizabeth City HC-130 Hercules aircraft file photo.

PORTSMOUTH, Va. — The Coast Guard coordinated the rescue of two people from a sailboat disabled by weather approximately 345 miles east of Hatteras Inlet, N.C., Saturday afternoon.

Watchstanders at the Coast Guard’s Fifth District Command Center received notification from the International Emergency Rescue Coordination Center at approximately 9:30 a.m. that a GPS alert had been received from a vessel in distress. The alert also stated that the vessel was experiencing severe weather and that both the sails and engine were inoperable.

District five watchstanders launched a Coast Guard Air Station Elizabeth City aircrew aboard a HC-130 Hercules aircraft and activated the Automated Mutual-Assistance Vessel Rescue System to alert vessels in the area to the emergent situation and request assistance from them.

The 958-foot bulk carrier KSL Santiago answered the call and diverted to the disabled sailing vessel. The crew of KSL Santiago were able to recover the two mariners and are now transiting to Baltimore.

“This could have gone much differently given the weather conditions, the fact that the boat was disabled and that it was in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean,” said Mr. Kelvin Morgan, operational unit controller for the Fifth District command center. “The fact we have partners like the crew and captain of the KSL Santiago allows cases like this to have a happy ending.”

No injuries were reported.

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