Coast Guard rescues 4 distressed boaters north of Cuba

KEY WEST, Fla. — Coast Guard crews responded to a 36-foot sailing vessel with 4 people aboard that had lost propulsion and steering Friday approximately 25 miles north of Bahia Honda, Cuba.

Coast Guard Sector Miami received a call from the motor vessel, Asian Sun, at 7:42 a.m. Friday alerting of a potential vessel in distress. Asian Sun reported crewmembers heard a call over VHF Channel 16 from the sailing vessel Shadowfax, a US-flagged sailing vessel reportedly disabled and adrift after losing steering capabilities.

Miami relayed the information to search and rescue coordinators at the District Command Center in Miami who launched an HU-25 Falcon jet crew from Coast Guard Air Station Miami, and diverted the Cutter Drummond, to locate and establish communications with the Shadowfax.

The Falcon arrived on scene with the Shadowfax around 9:00 a.m. and established communications with the distressed boaters.

At around 1:38 p.m., the Cutter Drummond arrived on scene to winds in excess of 20 knots and four-to-six foot seas. The crew took the Shadowfax in tow and began towing the vessel toward Key West.

At approximately 12:45 a.m. Saturday morning, a Tow Boat U.S. crew took over the towing evolution from the Drummond and towed the Shadowfax the remainder of the distance in to Key West. Shadowfax arrived safely at the Key West Marina around 3:20 a.m. Saturday morning.

Coast Guard Cutter Drummond is a 110-foot patrol boat homeported in Miami.

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