Bermuda-bound sailors rescued
Three American mariners sailing to Bermuda from the British Virgin Islands have been rescued after their yacht began to take on water.
The sailors were rescued about 300 miles north of Puerto Rico by the US Coast Guard, who also towed the 45ft vessel Valour to Puerto del Rey Marina, arriving on Sunday.
Valour was being delivered from Tortola, British Virgin Islands to Bermuda on Thursday when it started to take on water from an unidentified source and the crew could not control the flooding, the Coast Guard said yesterday in a press release quoted in the St Thomas Source.
Watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector San Juan received a call at 1pm on Thursday from the wife of the Valour’s captain, who reported the distress and that her husband and two other male crew members were in need of assistance, the release stated.
Coast Guard watchstanders in Sector San Juan established communications with the captain, who reported the vessel’s engine compartment was flooded and that they were trying to empty the space manually.
The Coast Guard Cutter Joseph Tezanos and an HC-130 Hercules aircraft from Air Station Elizabeth City in North Carolina went to the scene, where aircrew dropped two pumps and a VHF radio to the crew of the sailboat.
Valour’s crew identified two sources of flooding and stabilised the vessel by using the pumps to remove more than 1,700 gallons of water from the engine compartment.
The Coast Guard aircrew also established communications with the 590ft Cyprus-flagged cargo ship Smew, which diverted to render assistance. The Smew remained on scene with the Valour while the cutter Joseph Tezanos completed its 15-hour voyage.
At approximately 4.30am on Friday, the cutter crew launched its small boat to go onboard and establish a towline with the distressed sailing vessel and attempt repairs.
The cutter completed the tow of the Valour on Sunday morning to 15 miles north of Puerto Rico, where a Sea Tow Puerto Rico vessel rendered assistance and completed the tow to Puerto del Rey Marina in Fajardo, the release stated.