A routine voyage between Jamaica and New York turned into a daring rescue mission for the Amver participating cargo ship Algol early Thursday morning October 21st. The Singapore flagged ship radioed United States Coast Guard rescue personnel in Hampton Roads, Virginia alerting them they had received a distress call from a lone sailor on his 36 foot sailboat off the Carolina coast.
Matthew Eliason was on a voyage from Hampton Roads, Virginia to Florida when the boat suffered engine failure. As the weather deteriorated Mr. Eliason decided his best move was to activate his private distress beacon and make a distress call out via VHF radio. It was Captain Johnny Sueta Deraper, on the bridge of the Algol, who heard Eliason's distress and turned his 529 foot ship towards the stricken sailor.
The Algol was only two miles away from Mr. Eliason's location and arrived on the scene quickly. The Algol's crew helped Mr. Eliason aboard the cargo ship and tried to take his sailboat in tow. The weather conditions were rough with winds howling over 45 knots and waves cresting at six to ten feet and the tow line eventually broke. The crew of the Algol were forced to abandon plans to tow the sailboat.
The Algol, managed by Navylloyd AG Reederei of Switzerland, enrolled in the Amver system on November 23, 2006. This is its first rescue.
The Algol is expected to arrive in New York in the coming days where the survivor will be reunited with his family.
Photo credit: Navylloyd AG Reederei