Italian sailor Gianfranco Tortolani, a competitor in the Original Singlehanded Transatlantic Race (OSTAR), was rescued Sunday by the Maersk Missouri, a ship participating in the AMVER mutual-assistance program. Tortolani triggered his emergency beacon when his boat, Cittia Di Salerno, capsized and lost its mast off the coast of Halifax, NS.
From the AMVER press release:
United States Coast Guard authorities, using Amver search and rescue data, diverted the U.S. flagged container ship Maersk Missouri, which was only a few miles from the distress, to assist.
Amver, sponsored by the United States Coast Guard, is a unique, computer-based, and voluntary global ship reporting system used worldwide by search and rescue authorities to arrange for assistance to persons in distress at sea.
The Maersk Missouri, managed by Maersk Line Limited of Virginia Beach, VA, quickly changed course and, despite winds in excess of 20 knots and swells of 16 feet, hoisted the yachtsman aboard the ship.
“We have him safely on board.” was the brief email sent by the master of the Maersk Missouri to Coast Guard rescue authorities after the 67 year old sailor was rescued. The sailboat was left adrift.