AMVER tug responds to vessel in distress off S.C.

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

(CHARLESTON, S.C.) — The Coast Guard rendezvoused with two distressed mariners aboard a sailing vessel Tuesday 133 miles southeast of Charleston.

The crewmembers of the 38-foot sailing vessel Sea Heather reported no injuries or severe medical concerns other than exhaustion and seasickness.

The crew of the Coast Guard cutter Tarpon arrived on scene at 7:30 a.m. Tuesday, brought both people aboard the cutter and established a tow with the Sea Heather. The Tarpon plans to tow the vessel to Charleston.

Watchstanders at the Coast Guard Sector Charleston command center were notified of the situation via marine radio, VHF-FM channel 16 at 7:12 a.m. Monday. The mariners stated their vessel was beset by weather and that they were too exhausted to continue sailing. The mariners, a 35-year-old male and a 35-year-old female, reported no injuries or medical concerns.

A crew aboard an HC-130 Hercules airplane from Coast Guard Air Station Elizabeth City, N.C., was launched to respond at 8:54 p.m. Monday. The Hercules crew got on scene with the vessel at 10:12 p.m. and established communications.

The crew of the Coast Guard cutter Tarpon, an 87-foot Marine Protector-class patrol boat, was launched to respond at approximately 9 p.m. Monday.

The crew of the commercial tugboat OSG Horizon was on scene with the distressed vessel to monitor their situation until the Tarpon crew arrived.

OSG Horizon is a ship registered with the Automated Mutual-Assistance Vessel Rescue System. AMVER is a computer-based voluntary global ship reporting system used worldwide by search and rescue authorities to arrange for assistance to persons in distress at sea.

By Professional Mariner Staff