Coast Guard rescues sailboater off Guam after vessel dismasted

Crewmembers from Coast Guard Station Apra Harbor in a 29-foot Response Boat-Small. Coast Guard Photo Illustration by Auxiliarist David Lau

Coast Guard Station Apra Harbor 29-foot Response Boat-Small. file photo by Auxiliarist David Lau.

SANTA RITA, Guam — A 53-year-old boater is safe in Guam after the Coast Guard rescued him from his dismasted 14-foot catamaran in outer Apra Harbor, Sunday.

A Coast Guard Station Apra Harbor 29-foot Response Boat-Small crew successfully placed the vessel in tow and brought it back to the Marinas Yacht Club. There were no reports of injury.

“Last week was National Safe Boating Week, and this case is a perfect example of why waterway users should always reach out at the first sign of trouble,” said Command Duty Officer Jason Roman, a Joint Rescue Sub-Center Guam watchstander. “The boater did the right thing and contacted us on VHF Channel 16, and we were able to act swiftly. Even if you are experienced and don’t think the situation is dire, it is always best to let us know so we can monitor the situation and take action if things degrade.”

At 6:02 p.m., JRSC Guam watchstanders received a call over VHF Channel 16 from the boater explaining his vessel was dismasted and adrift about a mile offshore. Watchstanders issued an Urgent Marine Information Broadcast (UMIB) Notice to mariners and launched the RB-S crew.

Once on the scene, the RB-S crew placed the vessel in a bridal tow and brought the boater and his boat safely back to shore.

“Our crews train regularly in towing evolutions to ensure they are prepared for just this type of situation,” said Petty Officer 2nd Class Matthew Sheeler, a coxswain from Station Apra Harbor. “It was because of our readiness, we were able to launch quickly and bring the vessel back safely.”

Reported weather on scene was winds of 16 mph and seas up to 2 feet.

*all times and dates are in Hawaii Standard Time.

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