Friday, April 23, 2010

Research vessel diverted to assist yachtsman

How ironic! Just days after giving an Amver presentation to the Research Vessels Operators' Committee meeting in Rhode Island, a German research vessel was diverted to assist a boat requesting assistance in the Pacific Ocean.

The sailboat Sea Flyer, an off shore 38 foot cutter with two people on board, was on a voyage from Hawaii to French Polynesia. The boat suffered some damage to its mast during heavy weather. The master of Sea Flyer reported to rescue authorities they had "... six months worth of food, 80 gallons of water and 74 gallons of diesel..." but they required additional fuel.

After a series of bad weather and mechanical failures the crew of the Sea Flyer was able to make some repairs but could only sail in light air and under reduced sail.

The German research vessel Sonne, an Amver participant since 1978, agreed to divert and pass along fuel. Unfortunately, according to reports from rescue personnel, the Sea Flyer and Sonne were not able to coordinate their positions and the Sonne was released by the Coast Guard.

The Sea Flyer remains on a communications schedule with Coast Guard officials in Hawaii until they reach port safely. The Sea Flyer reports they are not in distress.

It's important to remember that not all Amver cases result in rescue. Often Amver ships pass along fuel, water, or medical supplies. Not all mariners need rescue. By the sounds of things the crew of Sea Flyer is well stocked and prepared for almost any casualty. They also have a properly registered EPIRB and are maintaining a strict communications schedule with the Coast Guard.

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Photo credit: RF Forshungsschiffahrt GmbH

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