AMVER cargo ship rescues ocean rower


The following is text of a news release from the U.S. Coast Guard:

(WASHINGTON) — The AMVER participating cargo ship Dolfijngracht rescued a solo rower from the 27-foot ocean rowboat Alba after his boat began taking on water and he abandoned ship approximately 525 miles southeast of Cape Cod, Mass., on June 15.

Rescue personnel at the U.S. Coast Guard 1st District Command Center received a 406 MHz emergency position indicating radio beacon (EPIRB) alert for the rowboat and confirmed the boat was in distress with the United Kingdom Mission Control Center, which received a satellite phone call from the rower stating he was abandoning ship.

Coast Guard personnel queried the AMVER (Automated Mutual-Assistance Vessel Rescue) system and diverted the 514-foot dry cargo ship Dolfijngracht, which was only 20 miles from the distress location. In addition to the AMVER ship, a full array of international resources were requested to assist including a U.S. Coast Guard search aircraft, a Canadian search and rescue aircraft from Halifax and an Italian naval ship.

"We immediately changed course and I ordered full steam ahead," reported Marco Goorden, captain of the Netherlands-flagged cargo ship. Despite 10-foot seas and 28-knot winds the crew of tDolfijngracht was able to embark the rower. "He was doing OK but was exhausted. We gave him food and some strong coffee," Goorden emailed to the Coast Guard.

The rower was to remain on Dolfijngracht until it arrives at its next port of call in Quebec. Dolfijngracht, managed by Spliethoff's Bevrachtingskantoor BV of Amsterdam, enrolled in AMVER on Dec. 13, 2009 and has earned one AMVER participation award.

By Professional Mariner Staff