Coast Guard Rescues Five From Damaged Sailboat

PORTSMOUTH, Va. – A Coast Guard HH-60 Jayhawk Rescue helicopter crew from Air Station Elizabeth City, N.C., rescued five people from the German flagged 43-foot sailboat Born, approximately 170-miles east of Elizabeth City.

The Coast Guard was initially notified at 6:40 a.m. today by a 406 MHz distress signal from the sailboat. The distress signal was generated by an Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon (EPIRB) attached to the boat. A C-130 crew was the first Coast Guard asset to arrive on scene, and indicated that the boat was demasted and had fouled proppellers. The Coast Guard decided to conduct a hoist of all five people aboard the sailboat due to inclement weather.

The sailboat departed Washington, D.C., on Sunday enroute to the Azores.

The Coast Guard wants all mariners to know that beginning Feb. 1, 2009, only distress alerts from 406 MHz beacons will continue to be detected and processed by search and rescue satellites worldwide. Older model Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacons or Emergency Locator Transmitters that only transmit a distress alert on 121.5 MHz or 243 MHz will not be instantly sent to search and rescue personnel. The only way these signals might be heard is by a passive radio listener tuned in to the 121.5/243 MHz frequencies.

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