Officials at the U.S. Coast Guard Rescue Coordination Center in Seattle received the distress alert for the sailboat on a voyage from Hawaii to Everett, Wash. when it encountered heavy seas, large wave impacts and suffered interior flooding. Rescue officials diverted a rescue aircraft from Coast Guard Air Station Sacramento and diverted the 964 foot container ship to assist.
The Panamanian flagged ship was only 130 miles from the sailboat when the captain agreed to divert and assist but notified rescue personnel that it could take seven or eight hours to reach the sailboat in the heavy weather. "We're in the vicinity of the distress location and have radio communications with the sailboat," the captain radioed to the Coast Guard.
The three survivors were all recovered by the container ship, which is managed by Hyundai Merchant Marine Company, and disembarked in Panama. The Hyundai Grace enrolled in Amver on December 18, 2013.
A Hyundai official stated, "Due to the rescue, we detoured about 540 kilometers resulting in a one day delay in our schedule. However, we were glad to have been able to save lives. Although the rescue occurred in foul weather, three hours of search efforts with four meter high waves and 25 knot wind speeds, we credit the success of the operation to our strict regular emergency training and commitment to good seamanship."
Photo credit: Hyundai Merchant Marine