Coast Guard, AMVER bulker rescue sailors near Puerto Rico

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

(SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico) — The Coast Guard transferred three mariners Saturday who were rescued from the Atlantic Ocean by a bulk carrier traveling to San Juan.

Coast Guard Sector San Juan Command Center watch standers received notification Thursday of a sailing vessel taking on water approximately 460 miles northeast of Puerto Rico. The watch standers issued an Automated Mutual-Assistance Vessel Rescue (AMVER) callout notifying vessels transiting in the vicinity of the distressed 36-foot Swedish-flagged sailing vessel Othilia.

The Coast Guard was assisted by the Joint Rescue Coordination Center Sweden in coordinating and identifying the 633-foot Marshall Island-flagged bulk carrier Desert Island to assist in the rescue of the three Swedish mariners.

“This case highlights the significance of both the AMVER system and the Search and Rescue Satellite-Aided Tracking system (SARSAT),” said Petty Officer 1st Class Veronica Dunn-DePretis, with Sector San Juan operations unit. “Due to the distance offshore, Sector San Juan was able to utilized both of these systems to promptly identify a merchant vessel to respond and track the distressed mariners using the GPS coordinates sent from the emergency position indicating radio beacon until help could arrive. The coordination between the vessel Desert Spring and the Coast Guard demonstrates the importance of our esteemed relationship with the international maritime community.”

The Desert Spring crew arrived on scene at approximately 6 p.m. Thursday with the sailing vessel Othilia and safely transferred the three mariners from the sinking vessel. The mariners were transported to Sector San Juan on Saturday at approximately noon with no reported injuries.

For more information on AMVER, click here.

By Professional Mariner Staff