Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Amver tanker rescues possible human smugglers

Six yachtsmen were rescued in a bizarre search and rescue incident involving up to nine sailors in a possible human smuggling case off the coast of Canada on Tuesday, March 27, 2012.

Through the combined efforts of an Amver tanker, a U.S. Coast Guard Falcon aircraft, and Canadian rescue aircraft and helicopters, 6 people were rescued from their disabled sailboat 240 miles off the coast of Cape Cod, Mass. and 90 miles from the Canadian coast.

The total number of people on the sailboat is unclear. Three of the survivors were rescued by the Amver tanker FSL Hamburg, three more survivors were rescued by a Canadian rescue helicopter although one survivor on the helicopter died. Three others may have been lost at sea.

One report suggest the survivors were trying to enter Canada illegally. The survivors, possibly Russian, Georgian, or Ukrainian, requested refugee status after their rescue. Canadian authorities are investigating the survivor's nationality and how they arrived off the coast.

The FSL Hamburg, a Singapore flagged product tanker, was on a voyage from New York to Canada when it was requested by Canadian authorities to assist in the rescue. The FSL Hamburg, managed by United Product Tankers of Hamburg, Germany, enrolled in the Amver system on April 14, 2011.

While the details of this case remain unclear, what is certain is that an Amver participant played a critical role in saving three lives. Bravo Zulu to the crew of the FSL Hamburg and the brave men and women of the Canadian rescue services.

Photo credit: marinetraffic.com

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