Please select your home edition
Edition
Zhik Isotak Ocean

Caribbean-bound yachts head south - five rescues in 24 hours

by Sail-World Cruising round-up on 9 Nov 2013
They dream of being here - but are they prepared well enough for the voyage? .. .
Are they going with boat and/or crew unprepared for the conditions? As rally boats and others make their way south down the American east coast to the Caribbean to escape the winter, the US Coast Guard is stretching to assist those who get into trouble and call an emergency. On Friday morning this week, the Coast Guard was working to rescue a fifth boat after four boats off the coasts of Virginia and North Carolina were reported in distress Thursday.

The Coast Guard said two of the sailboats were 230 and 275 miles east of Virginia Beach; those were part of the Salty Dawg Rally, a large group of sailboats making their way down the East Coast to the Bitter End Yacht Club in the British Virgin Islands.

Another distress alert came from a boat 230 miles east of Elizabeth City. A fourth distressed boat was located about 50 miles southeast of Okracoke Inlet, where a 67-year-old man aboard was reported to have an arm injury. The extent of the injury reported is not known at this time.

Crews were launched aboard an HC-130 Hercules airplane and an MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter from Coast Guard Air Station Elizabeth City. The Coast Guard contacted the Navy, who diverted USS Vella Gulf toward the two northern sailboats. An alert was also issued for any vessels in the area to assist.

Thursday night, crews located the sailboat off the coast of Okracoke Inlet, the Brave Heart. A Coast Guard said that the boat finally reached safety on its own. Petty Officer David Weydert said the weather conditions did not allow the Coast Guard to approach the boat.

Coast Guard resources that had been dispatched to help the Brave Heart were diverted sometime during the night to help a fifth sailboat, the Zulu, with a steering problem 100 miles off the coast of Oregon Inlet, N.C. The Coast Guard has been with that boat since and planned to tow it to land Friday at sunrise. However, rough seas are creating difficulty, and crews are now waiting for the water to calm before they begin the rescue.

One boat off the coast of Virginia Beach, the Ahimsa, was reported to be battling 12-foot waves and taking on water. The four people on board the 41-foot boat were very seasick and in what he said was 'bad shape.'

Friday at about 1:30 a.m., a Coast Guard helicopter hoisted those aboard to safety and took them to Coast Guard Air Station Elizabeth City. The Coast Guard said the medical status of those people is 'okay.' Upon arriving in Elizabeth City around 3 a.m., the four rescued declined medical attention.

The Coast Guard was able to make contact with the other sailboat near Virginia Beach, the 38-foot Nyapa, and was told the distress call was due to a lost mast and the boat taking on water. However, when watchstanders were not able to respond immediately, the crew were able to use a backup motor and continued safely on their route to the Bahamas.

Coast Guard crews have been unable to contact the sailboat Aurora off the coast of Elizabeth City. However, nearby sailboat Dreamreach was able to contact the boat and found the radio distress call it sent was a false alarm. The boat is headed to Bermuda and the Coast Guard has asked its counterpart there to inform them when the boat arrives safely.

The reports from the Coast Guard show much chaos on the water from a few boats - but raise more questions than they answer.

Related Articles

Shape of next Volvo Ocean Race revealed at Southern Spars - Part 1
Southern Spars has been confirmed as the supplier of spars for the 2017-18 Volvo Ocean Race. In mid-April, Race Director, Jack Lloyd and Stopover Manager Richard Mason outlined the changes expected for the 40,000nm Race during a tour of Southern Spars 10,000sq metre specialist spar construction facility. A total of up to seven boats is expected to enter, but time is running out for the construction of any new boats.
Posted on 3 May
Sailing in the Olympics beyond 2016 - A double Olympic medalist's view
Bruce Kendall takes a look at what he believes Sailing needs to do to survive beyond the 2016 Olympics. Gold and Bronze medalist and multiple world boardsailing/windsurfer champion, Bruce Kendall takes a look at what he believes Sailing needs to do to survive beyond the 2016 Olympics. A key driver is the signalled intention by the International Olympic Committee to select a basket of events that will be contested.
Posted on 29 Apr
From Olympic flag to Olympic Gold and maybe another
The Sydney Olympics was a Sailing double 470 Gold event for Australia. Having won the 420 World Championship in 2000, the feeder class to the 470, while still at school in Australia young Matt Belcher was given the honour of carrying the Olympic flag during the closing ceremony of the Sydney 2000 Olympics.
Posted on 28 Apr
The Road to Rio now 99 days short
The Road to Rio 2016 still has a few curves, bumps and potholes for teams battling to win. The Road to Rio 2016 still has a few curves, bumps and potholes for teams battling to win in Hyeres, at some World championship events and Weymouth World Cup but for many crews: 'It's 106 miles to Chicago we got a full tank of gas, half a pack of cigarettes, it's dark and we're wearing sunglasses.' Whoops wrong movie.
Posted on 28 Apr
America's Cup - Oracle Racing win in Court but with collateral damage
Oracle Racing have had another claim against them by a former crew member dismissed. Oracle Racing have had another claim against them by a former crew member dismissed. Mitchell focussed largely on the circumstances of the matter and introduced into the public arena some interesting documents to support his claims.
Posted on 23 Apr
Thou doth protest too much, me thinks
And no, we’re not off to analyse Hamlet right away. There’ll be no surtitles popping up on the top of your screen And no, we’re not off to analyse Hamlet right away. There’ll be no surtitles popping up on the top of your screen about now. At any rate, it is simply an adaptation of Lady Gertrude’s original line. We merely seek to use it as a way to demonstrate that when there is a lot of brouhaha going on, the smoke screen ultimately ends up as a lovely, colourful flag as to the real intent behind it.
Posted on 18 Apr
An interview with Jake Beattie about the 2016 Race to Alaska
In 2014, Jake Beattie and a few friends envisioned the Race to Alaska. Now, it’s time this wild race’s second edition. In 2014, Jake Beattie-the executive director of the Northwest Maritime Center in Port Townsend, Washington, and a few friends hatched the bold idea of a human-powered race to Ketchikan, Alaska, took flight. They decided that their human-powered race would start in Port Townsend, Washington and run to Ketchikan, by way of the inside passage between Vancouver Island and British Columbia.
Posted on 14 Apr
Children of the Internet, Rio and Hong Kong
I have four daughters, the youngest, who in her mid 20's is a true child of the Internet. I have four daughters, the youngest, who in her mid 20's is a true child of the Internet. The kind of conversations I have with her run along these lines.... In the olden days we did not have television until I left school and they had a thing called print magazines, that reported events between two weeks and four months after they happened. And her sceptical response... Hoh! Daddy, Hoh!
Posted on 14 Apr
Go fast girls - 49er FX sailors Paris Henken and Helena Scutt
Paris Henken and Helena Scutt will be representing the USA at the Rio 2016 Olympics, which will be their first Olympiad. American’s Paris Henken (20) and Helena Scutt (23) recently won a berth to represent the USA at the Rio 2016 Olympics in the high-performance 49er FX skiff, a goal that the team has been working on for almost three years. While this is their first Games, writing them off as Olympic newbies would require ignoring their recent results and their strong teamwork.
Posted on 13 Apr
World Sailing Cup V3 - A Dead Rat in a Shoe or Spring Daffodils?
While a host of major sailing events go from strength to strength, the Sailing World Cup has very major issues. Last night my Irish better half was sitting beside me on the sofa watching an Australian version of the popular TV Cooking Program My Kitchen Rules on a tablet with her headphones while I was watching Diehard II for the seventeenth time (it’s a boy thing) on TV. She suddenly spluttered and laughed, took off her headphones and motioned for me to mute Diehard. (Seriously!!)
Posted on 9 Apr
Barz Optics - San Juan Worlds Best EyewearNaiad/Oracle SupplierKilwell - 1