Coast Guard Towing Sailboat 130 Miles Offshore

MIAMI – The crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Farallon is towing the disabled 37-foot sailing vessel Hot Ticket Thursday evening and is expected to arrive in Key West, Fla., at noon Friday.

The Cutter Farallon arrived on scene at approximately 6 p.m. Thursday after battling 10 to 12-foot seas for more than 10 hours in response to a distress call from the Hot Ticket, which became disabled approximately 130 miles southwest of Fort Myers Beach, Fla., Wednesday afternoon.

The crew of the sailing vessel Hot Ticket activated their emergency position indicating radio beacon (EPIRB) Wednesday afternoon when they lost steering and the vessel began to take on water. The EPIRB signal was received by search and rescue coordinators at the Eighth Coast Guard District Command Center in New Orleans. Eighth District controllers then contacted the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration’s U.S. Mission Control Center in Suitland, Md., to obtain the Hot Ticket’s position from the agency’s Cospas-Sarsat program satellites. Controllers at the Seventh Coast Guard District were then notified of the case. The position of the Hot Ticket was also checked against information passed by the captain to a friend during a satellite phone call.

SAR coordinators at the Seventh Coast Guard District in Miami took control of the rescue, directing the launch of an HH-60 Jayhawk helicopter from Coast Guard Air Station Clearwater, Fla. Moments later, the Atlantic Area Command Center received an alert from the cruise ship Grandeur of the Seas that relayed a mayday call from the Hot Ticket. In the mayday call the crew stated they had lost a rudder, were slowly taking on water and their satellite phone was no longer working.

Two HC-130 Hercules aircraft from Air Station Clearwater and an HU-25 Falcon jet from Air Station Miami flew missions to remain with the Hot Ticket throughout Wednesday evening and until shortly before the Farallon rendezvoused with the Hot Ticket Thursday afternoon.

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