Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Dramatic video of Amver rescue of lone yachtsman

The Amver participating box ship Kuala Lumpur Express rescued a lone sailor 450 miles southeast of Cape Cod, Mass., on Monday, June 2, 2014.

Rescue authorities at the US Coast Guard First District received a report from Canadian rescue personnel of a 42-foot Belgian flagged sailboat with one person onboard. The sailor departed Newfoundland on May 27 enroute to Belgium and had been providing regular updates to a friend. The sailor's last report was that his boat was taking on water and felt like it "... was breaking up," so the friend immediately sought assistance.

US personnel launched a rescue aircraft and, using the Amver system, requested the German flagged ship to assist in the rescue. According to a Coast Guard rescue pilot, "Once on scene we saw that the sails were torn, she was dead in the water and was not responding on the radio."

The Kuala Lumpur Express was in communications with the rescue aircraft and raised some concerns about risk to the crew if their rescue boat was deployed. Waves were heavy swells more than 20 feet with 40 knot winds. The conditions were dangerous but the master of the Amver ship maneuvered upwind and upswell to create a lee, then deployed the rescue boat. "We were surprised how small the rescue boat was," the aircraft pilot added.

You can see in the video the challenges the crew of the Kuala Lumpur Express faced when they rescued the sailor.

Can't see the video? Click here.

"In all, I was very impressed by the skill and professionalism of the captain and crew of the Kuala Lumpur Express, and they undertook this lifesaving mission at great risk to themselves. Without their heroic action the solo sailor would likely not have been recovered," said  Coast Guard Commander Lance Isakson.

The sailor was not suffering from any injuries and was taken to the ship's next port of call in France. The Kuala Lumpur  Express, managed by Hapag-Lloyd of Hamburg, Germany, enrolled in Amver on June 3, 2008 and has earned five Amver participation awards.

Photo credit:
Video credit: USCG

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