Crews rescued after boats caught in TS Alex
Tropical Storm Alex may have had little impact on Bermuda, but it presented challenges for some boats near the island this week.
At about 8.19pm on Sunday, the Bermuda Maritime Operations Centre received an alert from a 36ft sailboat, Faule Haut.
The German-registered boat, which had set out from Fort Lauderdale, Florida, with three people on board, was about 290 miles west of Bermuda at the time, near the tropical storm.
An incident report said Rescue Co-ordination Centre Bermuda reached out to the US Coast Guard RCC Norfolk, which took over control of the matter.
“It was later confirmed to RCC Bermuda by RCC Norfolk, that the three persons on-board were safely evacuated from the sailing vessel using a USCG helicopter and that the sailing vessel has been abandoned,” the report said.
Hours later, shortly after 6am on Monday, BMOC received a distress alert from a Swedish-registered personal locator beacon about 40 miles west of the island.
“Following communication with the RCC located in Sweden, it is established that the PLB is registered to a person, who is thought to be on-board the 42ft US registered sailing vessel Big Sky.
“Following VHF radio communication with the sailing vessel in response to the mayday relay, it transpires that they set off the PLB due to being disabled and adrift in the severe weather caused by Tropical Storm Alex.
“The vessels engine had failed, and their main sails were damaged, due to the inclement weather.”
The wind reportedly pushed Big Sky closer to the island and, as the weather abated, the crew were able to rig a foresail and sail towards the eastern end of the island.
The boat and its three crew members were able to safely make it to St David’s and were subsequently towed to St George’s Harbour.