Tropical Storm Alma Can’t Keep Coast Guard Cutter Chase From the Job

SAN DIEGO – The Coast Guard Cutter Chase assisted a broken down sailing vessel while battling the elements of Tropical Storm Alma Thursday.

At about 9 a.m., the crew of the Chase received a report of a sail boat in distress more than 180 miles away. The two-person crew of the Stravaig had experienced the wrath of Tropical Storm Alma, the first tropical storm of the Central American season, and was badly damaged. The Chase turned around and headed back into the storm it had been trying to outrun for the past few days.

When the San Diego-based cutter was within 50 miles of the Stravaig, they established communications with the vessel and got an updated location and status of the crew and boat. The captain of the Stravaig said he was concerned with the amount of fuel he had onboard, having used most of what he had to keep the boat afloat. The Coast Guard was concerned with possible crew exhaustion of the captain and his wife on board the Stravaig. Both had been up for approximately 60 hours battling 60-plus knot winds and high seas. Chase watchstanders reassured the captain they were on their way and continued to their position.

Within a few hours, the Chase’s crew had the Stravaig in sight. The Captain of the sailing vessel determined the only assistance he needed was fuel to help him get to the next port, Playa de Coco, Costa Rica. By 9 p.m., Chase’s crew deployed a small rescue boat with a boarding team and 10 gallons of fuel to get the vessel to its destination. A boarding team determined the Stravaig to be seaworthy and the crew healthy enough to continue their journey. After a round of thanks, the crew of the Chase continued on their assigned mission.

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