Research boat breaking up, reported sinking off Delaware coast

The following is a press release issued by the U.S. Coast Guard:

(ATLANTIC CITY, N.J.) — The Coast Guard is responding to a distress call from the research boat Russell W. Peterson off the coast of Rehoboth Beach, Del., today.

The two people aboard activated their electronic positioning indicating radio beacon (EPIRB) and reported the boat was breaking up and taking on water approximately 14 miles off the coast. A rescue helicopter crew from Coast Guard Air Station Atlantic City is currently on scene and two small boats from Stations Cape May, N.J., and Ocean City, Md., are en route to the location.

The captain of the vessel reports they have a raft and dry suits available.

The Coast Guard wants all mariners to know that beginning Feb. 1, 2009, only distress alerts from 406 MHz beacons will continue to be detected and processed by search and rescue satellites worldwide. Older model Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacons or Emergency Locator Transmitters that transmit a distress alert on 121.5 MHz or 243 MHz  will not be instantly sent to search and rescue personnel. The only way these signals might be heard is by a passive radio listener tuned in to the 121.5/243 MHz frequencies.


By Professional Mariner Staff