Lost sailor saved by Coast Guard crews

BOSTON- Coast Guard crews from Maine and Cape Cod coordinated the rescue of a lost sailor off the coast of Maine around 4:45 p.m., today, as he tried to sail from Portland to Groton, Conn.

Coast Guard Sector Northern New England received a radio distress call at 2:36 p.m., from 68 year-old Michael Mavor aboard the sailing vessel Yare reporting that he was alone on his sailboat, and that his vessel had torn sails and disabled engines.

The Coast Guard launched a 47-foot rescue boat from Station Portsmouth Harbor and Station South Portland and a Falcon jet crew from Air Station Cape Cod. Mavor relayed the coordinates of his location from his global positioning satellite device to aid rescuers in finding him, but when the Coast Guard arrived in the area, there was no sign of the 30-foot vessel.

After further communication by cell phone, the Coast Guard watch stander tried to determine the location of the vessel by having Mavor describe the shoreline, landmarks and vessel traffic.

The Coast Guard then asked Mavor to dial 911 so they could try to pinpoint his location based on his cell phone signal.

Working with the wireless service provider, the watch stander was able to map out the location from the 911 call and diverted rescue crews to the correct location, about seven and a half miles northeast from where the crews were searching.

The boat crew from Station Portsmouth Harbor arrived on scene at 5:13 p.m., and took the Yare in tow.

Mavor and his boat arrived at Perkins Cove around 6:30 p.m., where paramedics were standing by to take him to a Maine hospital for medical attention.

At the scene, seas were about six feet with winds more than 20 miles per hour and heavy thunderstorms throughout the area.

This was the third time in 36 hours Mavor needed assistance at sea.

The first incident required his vessel be towed back to port by the fishing vessel Black Beauty. Later, his family reported they had lost communication with him and were concerned he may be in trouble. When they did reach him he said he was still sailing to Groton, Conn.

“The Coast Guard urges all mariners to file a float plan with someone on shore before going out to sea,” said Ken Stuart, the search and rescue specialist at Sector Northern New England who coordinated the search. “Luckily the gentleman had a cell phone and we were able to use it as a tool to find him when he was lost at sea.”

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