Sailor Rescued 450 Miles SE of Cape Cod
June 3, 2014
Coast Guard crews coordinated with commercial vessels to rescue a man approximately 450 miles southeast of Cape Cod, Massachusetts, on Monday, June 2, 2014.
Watchstanders at the 1st Coast Guard District Command Center in Boston, Massachusetts, received notification at 9:30 pm Sunday from the Joint Rescue Coordination Center in Halifax, Nova Scotia, that the Belgium-flagged 42’ sailing vessel Vagrant, with one person on board, was taking on water at a rate of one gallon-per-hour and was experiencing heavy winds and seas.
When the vessel missed scheduled satellite phone calls Monday morning, the Coast Guard immediately launched an HC-144 Ocean Sentry from Air Station Cape Cod and a C-130 Hercules aircraft from Air Station Elizabeth City, North Caroline, to try to locate the vessel. The USS New York and multiple commercial vessels also responded to assist.
Overcoming limited information on the vessel’s location and planned course, the C-130 crew spotted the sailing vessel adrift with tattered sails. Unable to raise the vessel on the radio, the C-130 dropped a communications package, but 40-knot winds and 16’ seas prevented the sole crewmember from the Vagrant from recovering it.
The motor vessel Kuala Lumpur Express was the first commercial vessel on scene and made a close quarters pass to formulate a rescue plan. The motor vessel Hoegh Maputo arrived for secondary support. The crew of the Kuala Lumpur Express made a second pass and lowered a small boat to extract the man from the vessel. The crew reported that the man was in good health and uninjured.