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Coast Guard leads two rescues off Bermuda

The Coast Guard had a busy weekend with two offshore rescues.

On Saturday, the command center coordinated a rescue about 650 miles northeast of Bermuda. Two people on a sailboat initially reported having a loose keel and later said they had to abandon ship because of flooding.

The Coast Guard got word from the Joint Rescue Coordination Centre Denmark via AMVER, the Automated Mutual-Assistance Vessel Rescue System.

Also using AMVER, the Coast Guard contacted the captain of the Finnish naval ship Pohjanmaa, which was three hours from the sailors’ last known position, to divert and help. Both sailors were saved. They were en route from St. Martin to the archipelago of the Azores, Portugal, when they abandoned ship into a life raft with a satellite phone and activated their EPIRB.

On Friday evening, a sailing crew hit a whale 400 miles northeast of Bermuda and the boat was flooding when a Dutch rescue center contacted the Coast Guard.

Again using AMVER, the Coast Guard asked the captain of the ER Melbourne, which was about 35 miles away, to help.

An hour-and-a-half later, the four crewmembers aboard the sailboat were saved. They were racing from the Bahamas to the archipelago of the Azores, Portugal.