Coast Guard: Man rescued from disabled sailboat traveling from NC to NY

Published 3:26 am Wednesday, April 15, 2020

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Coast Guard officials say a man was rescued from a disabled sailboat taking on water off the coast of New Jersey after another vessel heard his distress call.

The tanker vessel Hellas Poseidon reported at 5:15 p.m. Friday that the crew had overheard a distress call and spotted black smoke 2 miles away that led them to the disabled 25-foot sailboat Serena about 200 miles (320 kilometers) southeast of Cape May, New Jersey, officials said.

The Serena was reported taking on water and had damaged communications following an electrical fire in heavy seas, officials said. An HC-130 Hercules airplane and an MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter launched from a Coast Guard air station in Elizabeth City.

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When rescuers arrived, they decided weather conditions made it too dangerous to lower a rescue swimmer and equipment directly to the vessel. So the man was told to enter the water with a life jacket and meet the rescue swimmer, who quickly recovered him and both were safely hoisted onto the helicopter, officials said.

The man later reported that he was heading from North Carolina to New York and was caught in a storm that caused flooding and an electrical fire, officials said. No injuries were reported.

Chief Warrant Officer Dan Capestany credited the crew of the Hellas Poseiden with having “undoubtedly saved the man’s life.”

“This sailor was lucky that someone heard his distress call since he was so far out in the open ocean,” Capestany said in a statement. He added that the case “demonstrates the need for proper safety equipment” such as a registered EPIRB and life raft.



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