Coast Guard rescues 4 adults, 1 child from disabled sailboat

PORTSMOUTH, Va. – A Coast Guard helicopter crew hoisted four adults and one 4-year-old girl to safety Sunday afternoon 175 nautical miles west-northwest of Bermuda after their sailboat became disabled.

The sailors aboard the 47-foot sailboat, Panache, lost steering and propulsion while transiting to St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands, from Annapolis, Md., and contacted the Coast Guard via satallite phone requesting assistance. An HC-130J Hercules aircraft crew from Elizabeth City, N.C., marked the position of the sailboat and vectored the Elizabeth City MH-60J Jayhawk helicopter in. After being hoisted to safety the five people were taken to Bermuda.

During the hoist, the winds were more than 30 knots and the seas were 15 feet.

The Jayhawk crew was able to complete the rescue with the assistance of watchstanders at the Rescue Coordination Center in Portsmouth, the Hercules aircraft crew providing on scene communications, and the Coast Guard Cutter Legare who will provide fuel for the helicopter to return Monday afternoon.

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  1. dr mike sherrod says:

    So, is the sailboat left to bob about like a great apple…free for the picking of the first to come upon it, or does a cutter tow it back to port?

  2. Diana Quinlan says:

    Is anyone establishing a fund to help Mark and Shannon and their daughter get back on their feet. Their boat was their home and we’ve watched them prepare for this odyssey for several years now. Our prayers are with them.
    We made the transit from the Chesapeake to the BVIs just a few days ahead of Panache in the same sea conditions, but loss of steering and rudder and a child on board complicates things greatly. The USCG rescues people, not boats. A salvager may find it, or it may wash ashore,or sink. REgardless, they have lost their home and need our prayers.
    Bill and Diana
    aboard s/v special delivery in the BVIs