Tuesday, January 27, 2009
An international search effort led by Rescue Coordination Center La Reunion, including South African search aircraft, United States Air Force aircraft and pararescuemen, and an Amver participating merchant ship, led to the rescue of an American sailor aboard the sail boat Queequeg II 180 miles south of Madagascar on January 22.
The Queequeg II was on a two year voyage around the world when, according to survivor reports, the crew was caught in a severe storm with 50 knot winds and 40 foot seas for about a day and a half. The boat was flipped stern over bow and one crew member was reportedly lost overboard and another trapped in the cabin as the vessel remained overturned.
Rescue Coordination Center La Reunion immediately launched rescue efforts after receiving a 406 Mhz EPIRB alert for the sailing vessel. La Reunion also requested Amver data from the United States Coast Guard's Atlantic Area Command Center in Norfolk, Virginia. A South African search aircraft, a United States Air Force search aircraft equipped with sophisticated rescue equipment and pararescuemen, and a French Navy ship were also sent to the scene.
The South Korean flagged car carrier Auto Banner rescued the lone survivor, a 56 year old Illinois native found clinging to a piece of wreckage. The Auto Banner is reportedly taking him to its next port of call in Angola where he will be assisted by State Department personnel.
This case truly demonstrates how the international search and rescue system works. The QueeQueg II had a 406 Mhz EPIRB on board. The responsible rescue coordinators quickly requested Amver data from the United States Coast Guard. Additional air and surface assets were diverted to the scene. No case more clearly demonstrates the value of EPIRBs.
Because of this well coordinated international effort one sailor is alive.
Photo credit: French Navy
Posted by Amver Maritime Relations at 12:29 PM