AMVER tanker rescues stricken sailors in Pacific

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

(WASHINGTON) — The AMVER (Automated Mutual-Assistance Vessel Rescue System) participating LNG carrier Stena Crystal Sky rescued two people from their 23-foot sailboat that encountered severe weather approximately 1,000 miles southwest of Cabo San Lucas, Mexico on Jan. 18.

U.S. Coast Guard rescue personnel at the 11th District Command Center received notification from the Garmin/Inreach Emergency Call Center that the sailboat, on a voyage from Cabo San Lucas to the Marquesas Islands, had experienced difficulties and lost auto-steering after encountering severe weather. The two yachtsmen on board had activated the emergency feature of their Inreach device and requested rescue.

Coast Guard authorities conducted an AMVER surface picture and located the 977-foot LNG carrier only 280 miles from the sailboat and requested the ship divert to assist. The captain of the British-flagged vessel agreed to assist and changed course to find the stricken sailboat.

Stena Crystal Sky arrived on scene and, despite winds of 22 knots and waves exceeding 10 feet, launched a small boat to recover the two sailors from their boat. Within an hour of arriving on scene the crew of Stena Crystal Sky had safely embarked the sailors and left the sailboat adrift. The sailors were uninjured and stayed aboard the LNG carrier until it arrived in Panama.

Stena Crystal Sky, managed by Stena Bulk of Sweden, enrolled in AMVER on Jan. 13, 2012 and has earned six AMVER participation awards.

Sailors are strongly encouraged to have a properly registered 406-MHz emergency position indicating radio beacon on their vessel in addition to whatever other communications or emergency texting device they may carry.

By Professional Mariner Staff