AMVER ship rescues sailors 1,120 miles from Bermuda

(PORTSMOUTH, Va.) — The U.S. Coast Guard and a good Samaritan vessel rescued two mariners Monday approximately 1,120 miles southeast of Bermuda.

Watch standers with the Coast Guard Fifth District command center received an emergency position indicating radio beacon (EPIRB) alert from the 19-foot sailing vessel Lhor One at approximately 6 p.m. Sunday.

Fifth District watch standers alerted mariners in the area to be on the lookout for the sailors and conducted a query of vessels from Automated Mutual Assistance Vessel Rescue (AMVER). The watch standers also directed the launch of a Coast Guard Air Station Elizabeth City, N.C., HC-130 Hercules airplane crew to assist.

Two mariners aboard the 19-foot sailing vessel Lhor One, which was taking on water, come alongside the reefer Frio Ionian on Monday about 1,120 miles east of Bermuda. The sailors were taken aboard uninjured. U.S. Coast Guard photo courtesy of Frio Ionian crew

The airplane crew arrived on scene at 4:45 a.m. Monday and established communications with the mariners, who reported they were taking on water after a lightning strike reportedly put a hole in their vessel. The air crew also directed the 505-foot reefer Frio Ionian, an AMVER participating ship, toward the sailing vessel’s position.

The Frio Ionian crew arrived on scene at 10 a.m. and safely transferred a 20-year-old and 24-year-old male from Lhor One to the motor vessel with no reported injuries.

“This rescue was quite a distance from land and the successful rescue of two mariners was only possible because of the crew of the Frio Ionian’s participation in the AMVER program,” said Petty Officer 1st Class Starr Franklin, a watch stander with the Fifth District command center. “To put the distance from shore in perspective, the mariners were roughly the same as if you drove from Portsmouth, Va., to Odessa, Texas, near the Texas-New Mexico border.”

Lhor One was sailing from Guadeloupe to France.

– U.S. Coast Guard

By Professional Mariner Staff