Coast Guard rescues 73-year-old man 47-miles off Florida coast

Coast Guard Cutter Shrike Crest

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The Coast Guard rescued a 73-year-old man who had been adrift at sea since Monday approximately 47-miles east of Jacksonville Beach, Fla., Wednesday.

Rescued was Richard Steg, 73, of Storrs, Conn.

The crew of the Port Canaveral, Fla., based 87-foot Coast Guard Cutter Shrike located Steg adrift at sea aboard the 35-foot single-masted sail vessel “Bonvivant” at about 9:32 a.m. Wednesday. The vessel’s engine lost power Monday and sustained a broken mast from heavy weather leaving Steg adrift with no power to control the vessel.

Steg had attempted a mayday distress call that was picked up by the operator of the tug boat “Calusa Coast” Tuesday evening. Steg soon lost complete power and was left unable to communicate. The operator of the tug relayed the mayday distress call to Coast Guard watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector Jacksonville who launched an HH-65 Dolphin rescue helicopter crew from Coast Guard Air Station Savannah, Ga.

The initial search was completed after a two-hour search pattern that covered 273 square-miles. A first light search commenced Wednesday with a C-130 air crew from Coast Guard Air Station Clearwater, Fla., and the Cutter Shrike who later located Steg and confirmed he had made the mayday distress call. Steg’s last port-of-call was Ponce de Leon Inlet enroute for Groton, Conn.

The Coast Guard reminds all mariners that a maritime emergency can occur at any moment.  Lifejackets should be worn at all times whenever on the water. In addition, maintain a registered emergency position indicating radio beacon aboard your vessel so rescue crews can pinpoint your location in an emergency. For more information aboout EPIRBs please visit here.

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