Please select your home edition
Edition
Newport Boat Show 728x90

Hero ships rescue four French sailors in the Atlantic

by US Coast Guard/Sail-World Cruising on 9 Sep 2011
Hero ships .. .
The winds were 45 knots and the seas 25-30 feet when the aluminium ketch suffered a knockdown and lost its mast this week 1400 miles into the Atlantic Ocean. The French flagged yacht Roule ta Bille was returning across the Atlantic to Europe when the incident happened, and, as so often happens today, it was merchant ships as well as traditional rescue authorities that came to the rescue.

The U.S. Coast Guard, reports that they, the Canadian Joint Rescue Coordination Centre Halifax, a Canadian Forces CC-130 Hercules and two merchant vessels worked together to rescue the four French sailors more than 1,400 miles east-northeast of Provincetown.

The 600-foot tanker Unique Sunshine, an Automated Mutual-Assistance Vessel Rescue System (AMVER) member, and the 250-foot oil rig tender Maersk Chancellor rescued the sailors after their boat, the 36-foot red-hulled sailboat, reported their predicament by satellite phone to the skipper's father.

JRCC Halifax personnel contacted the first Coast Guard District Command Center staff in Boston at 9:40 p.m., Wednesday, reporting the sailboat had capsized with four people aboard after they received notification from the sailboat captain’s father. The captain called his father in Quebec, Canada, to notify him of their situation and location.

At approximately 9:50 p.m., the District Command Center also received an alert from the boat’s 406 MHz Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon, as well as notification from the SPOT GPS messenger response center. SPOT is a commercial emergency system that sends a vessel’s GPS location to the company’s emergency response center.

Unique Sunshine first and provided the sailboat with shelter from the wind and provided the Coast Guard with information while the Maersk Chancellor (pictured) was en route.

'It's great that the sailors have so many means of communication aboard their boat,' said Tim Carton, the search and rescue specialist for the first District Coastguard. 'We recommend all mariners have multiple means of communication, such as marine VHF-FM radio, satellite phone and an emergency beacon, especially if traveling far offshore where cell phone and radio communication to shore could be unreliable. These men went a step further and also had the commercial GPS locator. All these resources helped us ensure we had the correct location of the vessel.'

The Canadian CC-130 was diverted to the sailboat’s location and dropped a sea rescue kit that contains a life raft and survival gear to the sailors.

The Unique Sunshine arrived on scene first and provided the sailboat with shelter from the wind, maintained communications with the sailors and provided the Coast Guard with updated information while the Maersk Chancellor was en route.

The Maersk Chancellor has two rescue vessels and the crew is trained in offshore rescues.

Once the Maersk Chancellor arrived on scene, the oil rig's crew rescued the sailors as the Unique Sunshine continued to shelter the vessels from strong winds and heavy seas.

'The AMVER program is an invaluable resource for us that extends our search and rescue capabilities outside the normal operating area of our Coast Guard assets,' said Chief Petty Officer George Bannon, a search and rescue watchstander at the District Command Center.

AMVER, sponsored by the Coast Guard, 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.
Zhik Dinghy 660x82NaiadNewport Boat Show 2016 660x82

Related Articles

Reducing weight aloft with composite backstays
Reducing weight aloft is one of the most cost effective ways of increasing your boat speed and performance. Reducing weight aloft is one of the most cost effective ways of increasing your boat speed and performance. Every kilogram you take out of the rig is roughly equivalent to 4kg added to the bottom of your keel!
Posted on 26 Jul
Free $US3,000 Carbon Vang with SouthernFurl boom orders in July
Southern Spars is giving a free carbon vang - valued at US$3,000 - with SouthernFurl in-boom furlers ordered in July Southern Spars is giving away a free carbon vang - valued at US$3,000 - with all of their SouthernFurl in-boom furlers ordered in July. Carbon gas vangs make a great addition to the furling boom package, though if you’d prefer to keep your existing one, Southern Spars will offer you a 5% discount on the price of your boom instead.
Posted on 29 Jun
Newport Bermuda Race - High Noon takes honours
As the Newport Bermuda Race fleet rushed to the finish line on Monday in the wake of the first-to-finish boat, As the Newport Bermuda Race fleet rushed to the finish line on Monday in the wake of the first-to-finish boat, the powerful 100-foot grand prix Comanche, to the surprise of many they were led by an unusual boat and crew. High Noon, at 41 feet, is fully 59 feet shorter than Comanche and tens of feet shorter than many other entries.
Posted on 22 Jun
Platino recovery - Family confirms that tug has made rendezvous
Reports in social media say a salvage tug has made a rendezvous with the Platino earlier than expected. Reports in social media by family and friends of Nick Saull, the crew member killed during a catastrophic incident abroad the 66ft yacht Platino say the salvage tug which left on Tuesday night has made the rendezvous earlier than expected. The Facebook report says the tug, Sea Pelican, arrived on Friday morning, the weather in the area has eased and with a more favorable outlook.
Posted on 16 Jun
Royal Queensland Yacht Squadron to ban bottled water
Approval has been given to create a ban on bottled water that comes in plastic containers. The RQYS Management Committee has confirmed that approval has been given to create a ban on bottled water that comes in plastic containers. This will place the club as a leader in environmental impact management in Australia and around the world. The Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club earlier this year did likewise. Who’s next?
Posted on 16 Jun
SouthernFurl In-Boom furling systems withstand Sydney Hobart test
Southern Spars design team have developed the SouthernFurl Boom smaller budgets and yachts from 35-70 feet. Have you ever scared your family when you got stuck with too much sail up when you should be reefed? Southern Spars’ range of SouthernFurl booms are the answer – letting you reduce sail quickly and easily without leaving the safety of the cockpit.
Posted on 23 May
2016 Garda Trentino Olympic Week - Day 4
Garda Trentino Olympic Week 2016 draws near to the conclusion: the weather once again proves difficult. Garda Trentino Olympic Week 2016 draws near to the conclusion: the weather once again proves difficult. Tomorrow the medal race is scheduled for the Lasers and another two races for the three paralympic classes.
Posted on 13 May
CCA presents RCC Award to Scott and Mary Flanders
CCA has announced that Scott and Mary Flanders are the recipients of the organization’s 2015 Royal Cruising Club Trophy. The Cruising Club of America (CCA) has announced that Scott and Mary Flanders are the recipients of the organization’s 2015 Royal Cruising Club Trophy.
Posted on 22 Apr
Cyclone Winston Relief Fund – Help the people of Fiji
Sea Mercy is sending volunteer fleet of small and large vessels, loaded with shelter, food and medical supplies to Fiji. Sea Mercy is once again sending our volunteer fleet of small and large vessels, loaded with shelter, food, water and medical supplies and teams to Fiji.
Posted on 27 Feb
Golden Globe Race - 30 sailors from 12 countries named for challenge
Sailors from America, Britain and France head the preliminary entry list for the 2018 Golden Globe solo round the world Sailors from America, Britain and France head the preliminary entry list for the 2018 Golden Globe solo round the world race. The 29 men and one woman – have each paid an initial A$3,000 entry fee. Other entrants hail from Austria, Australia, Brazil, Estonia, India, Ireland, Italy, New Zealand, Norway, Palestine, Russia and Switzerland.
Posted on 18 Feb