Tanker crew rescues adrift sailors east of Delaware

(PORTSMOUTH, Va.) — The U.S. Coast Guard, with assistance from the tanker Silver Muna, located the 30-foot sailing vessel Atrevida II on Tuesday approximately 214 miles east of Delaware.

Found were Kevin Hyde, 65, and Joe Ditomasso, 76. They were last in contact with family and friends on Dec. 3 when they departed Oregon Inlet, N.C. Hyde and Ditomasso were traveling aboard Atrevida II from Cape May, N.J., to Marathon, Fla.

On Nov. 29, Hyde and Ditomasso ran aground upon entering Rudee Inlet near Virginia Beach, Va. Coast Guard Station Little Creek and Virginia Beach Fireboat 12 assisted them. They were safely refloated with no reported damage.

Atrevida II was found to be without fuel and power Tuesday, rendering its radios and navigation equipment inoperable. Hyde and Ditomasso gained the attention of the Silver Muna crew by waving their arms and a flag.

The oil/chemical tanker Silver Muna. Patrick Deenik/MarineTraffic.com photo

Hyde, Ditomasso and a pet dog were brought aboard Silver Muna at 4:18 p.m. They were evaluated by the vessel’s medical staff with no immediate concerns. Hyde and Ditomasso will remain aboard Silver Muna as it proceeds to its next port of call in New York, where they will be transferred to a Coast Guard vessel for further evaluation and reunification with their family and friends.

On Sunday, watch standers at the Coast Guard Fifth District command center were notified of Hyde and Ditomasso being overdue. The Coast Guard began urgent marine information broadcasts and direct communication with commercial vessels in the area in an attempt to locate them.

Atrevida II while moored. U.S. Coast Guard photo

The Coast Guard launched multiple aircraft and cutters to search for Atrevida II. Additionally, vessels from the U.S. Navy’s Second Fleet and commercial and recreational vessel traffic within in the search area contributed to the effort.

Coast Guard, Navy and maritime partners searched a combined 21,164 square miles of water, spanning from northern Florida to the waters east of New Jersey.

“This is an excellent example of the maritime community’s combined efforts to ensure safety of life at sea,” said Cmdr. Daniel Schrader, spokesman for Coast Guard Atlantic Area. “We are overjoyed with the outcome of the case and look forward to reuniting Mr. Hyde and Mr. Ditomasso with their family and friends. We also want to highlight the importance of proper safety equipment and preparedness when going to sea. Having an emergency position indicating radio beacon, or EPIRB, allows mariners to immediately make contact with first responders in an emergency.”

Search and rescue assets involved in this effort included:

• Coast Guard Air Station Elizabeth City HC-130 Hercules airplane and MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crews
• A Coast Guard Air Station Clearwater HC-130 Hercules airplane crew
• A Coast Guard Air Station Miami HC-144 Ocean Sentry airplane crew
• A Coast Guard Air Station Cape Cod MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew
• USCGC Oak (WLB 211), home-ported in Newport, R.I.
• USCGC Richard Snyder (WPC 1121), home-ported in Atlantic City, N.C.
• USS San Jacinto (CG 56), home-ported in Norfolk, Va.
• Multiple commercial and recreational vessels along the Eastern seaboard.

– U.S. Coast Guard

By Rich Miller