Two Canadian sailors were plucked from the Pacific Ocean after they were adrift in a life raft for three days approximately 100 miles off the coast of Costa Rica on Dec. 11, 2010.
The Canadians were sailing aboard their 42 foot catamaran from Costa Rica to Nicaragua when it sank and they activated their Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon (EPIRB). The EPRIB activation alerted rescue authorities who launched a coast guard search and rescue plane and diverted the Amver participating ship Sunbelt Spirit. Coast Guard personnel from California and Victoria, Canada helped coordinate the rescue which also involved a navy aircraft.
The Sunbelt Spirit, a Marshall Island flagged car carrier/reefer ship, was fully loaded with cars on a voyage from Japan to the United States. Captain Edmund Straszak was only 30 miles from the distress location when he turned his 212 meter ship towards the survivors.
While directing operations from the bridge, Straszak’s crew lowered a ladder to the sailors and helped them board the ship. Once aboard, the crew provided food and medical attention to the two sailors who suffered sunburn and dehydration.
The Sunbelt Spirit, owned by the Great American Lines of Roseland, N.J. enrolled in the Amver system in Dec. 2002 and earned 8 awards for participating in the global search and rescue system.
Amver personnel boarded the Sunbelt Spirit when it came into Newark, N.J. on Dec. 20, 2010 and presented a certificate of appreciation and Amver flag to recognize Captain Straszak and his crew for their rescue efforts.
Here's a video of the rescue operations:
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Photo credits: rescue photos by the crew of the Sunbelt Spirit, other photos by Zana Kaba, USCG