The following is the text of a news release from the Automated Mutual Assistance Vessel Rescue System (AMVER):
(PORTSMOUTH, Va.) — An AMVER tanker rescued a sailor and his dog from a damaged catamaran 500 miles east of Wilmington, N.C., on Friday, Oct. 10.
Coast Guard rescue personnel in Portsmouth, Va., received notification from the International Emergency Rescue Coordination Center that the 30-foot catamaran was in distress with a damaged hull off the coast of North Carolina. They immediately diverted a C-130 rescue aircraft from U.S. Coast Guard Air Station Elizabeth City and diverted the AMVER vessel Torm Gunhild. The Marshall Islands-flagged vessel was only seven miles from the distress location.
The master of the 590-foot tanker was able to quickly locate the catamaran, lowered a rescue boat and quickly embarked the sailor and his female Chihuahua, Bibi. "Both master and dog are in good health, besides being a little distraught due to the nature of the incident," reported the captain of the Torm Gunhild. The survivors were taken to the Bahamas where they were transferred to shore personnel.
The Torm Gunhild, managed by Torm A/S of Denmark, enrolled in AMVER on Jan. 2, 2000 and has earned 11 AMVER participation awards.