Coast Guard working to rescue man 400 miles offshore

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MIAMI — Search-and-rescue coordinators are working to medically evacuate a 61-year-old man suffering from severe dehydration 406 nautical miles northeast of Puerto Rico.

Watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector San Juan, Puerto Rico, received the initial request to provide medical assistance from the sailing vessel Scat early Sunday morning. Due to significant distance off-shore and lack of any nearby rescue assets, Coast Guard coordinators communicated with the nearby Bahamian flagged motor vessel Chiquita Scandinavia through the Automated Mutual Assistance Vessel Rescue System (AMVER) to provide assistance.

Upon arriving on scene, the Chiquita Scandinavia reported rough and hazardous sea conditions and were unable to safely recover the man from the sailing vessel.

The Liberian flagged AS Vincentia responded to the scene as well to provide assistance.

Coast Guard search and rescue coordinators at Sector San Juan diverted the Coast Guard Cutter Vigorous to respond to the scene. The Coast Guard is planning to launch a search and rescue MH-65 Dolphin helicopter crew from Coast Guard Air Station Borinquen, Puerto Rico, to rendezvous with cutter Vigorous. Both assets will proceed to the scene and attempt to get the man safely off the sailing vessel to receive medical attention.

The vessels Chiquita Scandinavia and AS Vincentia are a part of the Automated Mutual Assistance Vessel Rescue System that is sponsored by the United States Coast Guard. AMVER is a computer-based voluntary global ship reporting system used worldwide by search and rescue authorities to arrange for assistance to persons in distress at sea.

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