The Amver mutual assistance program brought help to two sailors after their 34-foot sailboat was run down by a ship 160 miles off the coast of North Carolina. The following is a press release from the U.S. Coast Guard:
Norwegian flagged Amver ship rescues 2
NEW YORK â€“ Two sailors were rescued by an Amver ship after their 34 foot sailboat was apparently struck by a cargo vessel 140 nautical miles off the coast of North Carolina on October 16, 2009.
The sailors, one Canadian the other Swiss, were sailing from New Jersey to Saint Martin when they encountered bad weather. “The winds were blowing over 30 knots and visibility was down to three knots,” a survivor stated, “I had gone below to retrieve some foul weather gear and when I came back up we were hit.” The sailboat was demasted and began taking on water after it was struck. The sailors immediately began calling for assistance on the radio and launched a flare.
The crew of the Norwegian flagged container ship, Star Ismene, saw the flare and notified United States Coast Guard search and rescue authorities. The master of the container ship, which enrolled in Amver in 2000, quickly ordered the crew to begin rescue operations. One survivor suffered a minor shoulder injury during the rescue.
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. With Amver, rescue coordinators can identify participating ships in the area of distress and divert the best-suited ship or ships to respond.
The survivors were taken to the Star Ismene’s next port of call in New Jersey where United States Coast Guard search and rescue personnel arranged to have embassy officials meet them.
Prior to sailing, participating ships send a sail plan to the Amver computer center. Vessels then report every 48 hours until arriving at their port of call. Tproject the position of each ship at any point during its voyage.
In an emergency, any rescue coordination center can request this data to determine the relative position of Amver ships near the distress location. On any given day there are over 3,600 ships available to carry out search and rescue services. Visit http://www.amver.com to learn more about this unique worldwide search and rescue system.
Low resolution photos of the rescue:
Photo credit: crew of the M/V STAR ISMENE