Four men were rescued and in apparent good health Monday after spending nearly two weeks adrift on the Caribbean.
The men, who are from St. Vincent and the Grenadines and range in age from 24 to 45, had set out for supplies from a tiny Grenadines island and were bound for the island of St. Vincent. When the outboard on their 30-foot boat failed, they were left adrift with no way to call for help, according to the Coast Guard.
The St. Vincent-flagged bulk carrier Sabina A spotted the boat 12 days later and sent an Inmarsat C satellite alert to the Fort de France Maritime Coordination Rescue Center in Martinique, which relayed the signal to Coast Guard Sector San Juan.
Coast Guard watchstanders coordinated the launch of an HC-144 Ocean Sentry aircraft from Air Station Miami and diverted the cutter Farallon to provide assistance.
The men were rescued in rough seas south of Puerto Rico, according to the Coast Guard. They were taken aboard the Farallon and given clean clothes, blankets and a hot meal.
Coast Guard spokesman Ricardo Castrodad said it wasn’t immediately clear how the men survived during the ordeal or what supplies they had on the boat.
“The great coordination between the mariners of the Sabina A and international rescue coordination center and Coast Guard watchstanders, along with the swift response of Coast Guard rescue crews, saved four lives from the perils of the sea,” Capt. Drew W. Pearson, Sector San Juan commander, said in a statement. “This case highlights the importance of having the proper VHF marine radio communications and Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon on board before going to sea.”
The Farallon took the islanders and their boat to Puerto Rico.