|The sailing vessel Makalii and life raft adrift near Palmyra, Atoll.|
Blackford was sailing his 60 foot boat, the S/V Makalii, when it lost its mast and began taking on water near the tiny Pacific atoll. He activated his 406 MHz Personal Locator Beacon which alerted U.S. Coast Guard rescue personnel in Honolulu. Rescue authorities immediately sent a rescue aircraft from Coast Guard Air Station Barbers Point and diverted the Amver participating bulk carrier Global Explorer.
The rescue aircraft arrived on scene and dropped survival equipment and a radio to Blackford who was riding out the rough weather in his life raft. Weather conditions on scene were reported to be heavy rain with rough seas and high winds from the east.
The Cayman Island flagged bulk carrier, Global Explorer, arrived on scene and reported to the Coast Guard that it was too dangerous to attempt a rescue at night and they would continue to monitor Blackford and try to rescue him in the morning. At 9:00 am the crew of the Global Explorer was able to hoist him aboard the ship uninjured.
The Global Explorer, managed by Misuga Kaiun Company of Japan, enrolled in the Amver system on August 31, 1997 and has earned 12 Amver participation awards.
Photo credit: USCG photo