Please select your home edition
Edition
Naiad

AMVER ship wins award for 2011 yacht rescue

by Sail-World Cruising Round-up on 28 Aug 2012
Elle crew rescue - a very difficult operation SW
More and more yachts that get into trouble on the high seas are rescued, not by official rescue personnel, but by passing ships. Bermundan-registered ship The Oleander will receive a special award in WashingtonDC for its successful rescue of a yacht in 2011. The ship has already received a Safety at Sea award in London for the same rescue.

The Bermuda cargo ship rescued the distressed crew members of the Elle last November.

The US Consulate will recognise their act of heroism and bravery with a special award ceremony in Washington DC on October 4, organised as part of the US Coast Guard’s Automated Mutual-Assistance Vessel Rescue (AMVER) programme.

AMVER is a worldwide search and rescue network that aims to assist ships and aircraft in distress at sea.

Said US Consul General Grace Shelton: 'Ships earn an AMVER award by being ‘on plot’ at least 128 days of the calendar year.

'The Oleander, although it did not meet that minimum requirement, did in fact save four sailors from a 46ft sailboat foundering in the Atlantic last November, and I want to recognise their bravery. '

The vessel is registered to Container Ship Management, Ltd (CSM).

Vice president of vessel operations Blair Simmons explained that the Oleander did not meet the 128-day period because the ship was being renovated.

'Between January and April 2011 the Oleander was undertaking a major life-extension refit in Holland, and as such, the vessel did not achieve the minimum 128 days ‘on plot’ with the AMVER system to again earn one of their annual awards,' he said.

'Nonetheless, Bermuda Container Line and the owners of the Oleander are incredibly proud of the officers and crew on the vessel who remain committed to offer all possible assistance to fellow mariners that may find themselves in need of assistance on the high seas.'

The ships served in the rescue programme for varying lengths of time, with the Eagle Atlanta of AET Ltd serving for the longest period of five consecutive years.
.........................

Rescue of the Elle:

The 46ft sailboat was one of several vessels involved in the first leg of the NARC rally from Newport, Rhode Island, to Virginia who found themselves battling unexpectedly harsh weather.

The boat’s captain and owner, Foster Ashton, said that when the boats first left port on Wednesday, the weather was gusty, but calmed as they approached the gulf stream.

However, he said the crew elected to steer away from the recommended route and found themselves pushing against a current, burning through their fuel supply.

'By the time we got out of that area, I had about 12 to 15 gallons of reserve fuel and half a tank, not enough to complete the journey in this weather,' he said.

He said that the weather rapidly turned to the worse, with powerful gusts and high waves battering the ship. At some point, a hard hit launched Mr Schweitzel across the cabin and into a cabinet, cracking his ribs.

The crew attempted to continue to the Island, but as the weather continued to batter the ship the crew decided that they needed assistance.

'Eventually, we came to the point of no return,' Mr Ashton said. 'I knew for sure we weren’t going to make it.'

On Sunday morning, help arrived in the form of the cargo ship Oleander, who was en route to Bermuda and volunteered to assist the wounded vessel.

The vessel manoeuvred itself to block Elle from the wind to allow the sailboat to pull alongside, but the damaged vessel struck the Oleander hard attempting to pull next to the ship.

'That was the worst part,' Mr Schweitzel said. 'I thought, here we are in a 40ft sail boat and here is this 400ft boat. They’re going to run right over us.'

The crew of the Oleander worked to pull the crew of the damaged sailboat aboard, but the first sailor to attempt to cross over, Brian Finn, slipped and fell into the water between the two vessels.

He remained in the water for close to half an hour as the crew attempted to pull him to safety.

Eventually, all four crew members were brought aboard the Oleander and Elle was set adrift. Mr Ashton said: 'All the while I was thinking, this didn’t have to happen. That sailboat was my home.'

Both men praised the work and efforts of the crew of the Oleander, who they said took them in and did everything possible to help them, from giving them clean clothes to paying for their taxi.

'I really cannot say enough about them,' Mr Ashton said.

While he said he is extremely disappointed by what happened, he said the most important thing is that the crew is safe and sound.

Protector - 660 x 82PredictWind.comGiacomo Yacht Sale

Related Articles

Int Moth Worlds - Zhik returns to its spiritual home at 2017 Worlds
Zhik is returning to its roots as the official clothing sponsor of the 2017 McDougall McConaghy Moth World Championships Zhik, the innovative sailing apparel specialist, is returning to its roots as the official clothing sponsor of the 2017 McDougall McConaghy Moth World Championships. And, ten years on, the Moths are returning to their spiritual home on Lake Garda. Zhik and the International Moth class are virtually synonymous with each other.
Posted on 20 Jul
Cheeki Rafiki - Douglas Innes to face retrial over manslaughter
Douglas Innes to face retrial over manslaughter The Director of Stormforce Coaching, the company that ran Cheeki Rafiki, is set to face retrial for manslaughter over the deaths of the four crew. They were 700nm from Nova Scotia, returning to Southampton after racing in Antigua when the keel feel off. It is said that previous groundings had weakened the keel bolts....
Posted on 17 Jul
Rytov continues to defend lead at 2017 Melges 20 European Championship
On the eve of final day at Melges 20 European Championship Russia's Igor Rytov & his Russian Bogatyrs remains in command On the eve of the final day at the 2017 Melges 20 European Championship, Russia's Igor Rytov and his Russian Bogatyrs remains in command. Thanks to a very consistent performance thus far, they are inching ever closer to capturing the top European title and trophy.
Posted on 15 Jul
Get better wave forecasts from PredictWind and ECMWF
Predictwind is well-known for accurate wind forecasts but now leads the way with accurate wave forecasts PredictWind is well known for its world leading accurate wind forecasts, but did you know Predictwind also leads the way with accurate wave forecasts?
Posted on 12 Jul
Centennial Transat builds bridge to a flying future
The Queen Mary 2 won its battle with the four 30-meter trimarans, as expected, in upwind conditions for the sailboats The race was timed to mark a hundred years since American troops arrived on the shores of France in WW1, and it also brought together all of the fastest Ultimate trimarans for the first time as the class begins to take flight.
Posted on 7 Jul
X-Yachts announce the new X49 as the latest member of the 'X' range
In 2016, X-Yachts launched the new pure ‘X’ range which included the X4³ and the X65.  In 2016, X-Yachts launched the new pure ‘X’ range, which included the X43 and the X65. This range was exceptionally well received by both press and clients, with more than 50 yachts sold in the first year. The ‘X’ range incorporates the best elements from both the Xcruising range and the Xperformance range into one beautifully designed performance cruiser
Posted on 6 Jul
Sailors for the Sea named an Environmental Innovator of the Year
Green Sports Alliance presented annual Environmental Leadership Award and Environmental Innovators of the Year Awards The Green Sports Alliance presented their annual Environmental Leadership Award and Environmental Innovators of the Year Awards, the highlight of their annual Green Sports Celebration on Wednesday, June 28th at the Green Sports Alliance Summit in Sacramento, CA.
Posted on 5 Jul
The Bridge – Colville nurses boat and crewman to third place finish
Arriving in New York on Independence Day will be some consolation for finishing lower on the podium than Colville wanted Sodebo Ultim’ finished five hours nine minutes and 52 seconds after second-placed IDEC Sport and 15 hours 47 minutes and 35 seconds after the winner Macif.
Posted on 4 Jul
The Bridge – Francis takes second but not passing the flame on yet
Joyon and his crew of Alex Pella, Gwénolé Gahinet, Sébastien Picault and Quentin Ponroy exchanged the lead with Macif IDEC Sport remained in the hunt, 30-50 miles behind, and Joyon used all his nous to make it quickly through transition zones and keep a boat 10 years older and several tonnes heavier in contention.
Posted on 4 Jul
François Gabart and Macif win The Bridge – Centennial Transat
François Gabart and his five-man crew on Macif have won The Bridge – Centennial Transat trimaran race François Gabart and his five-man crew on Macif have won The Bridge – Centennial Transat trimaran race, crossing the finish line under the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge in New York, on Monday, July 3 at 13:31:20 (local time), 08 days, 00 hours 31 minutes and 20 seconds after leaving from under the Saint-Nazaire Bridge. Macif sailed 3,582.13 nautical miles at an average speed of 18.61 knots.
Posted on 4 Jul