A Coast Guard helicopter crew hoisted five adults and one four-year-old girl from a 47-foot disabled sailboat 175 nautical miles west of Bermuda Sunday, according to a recent Coast Guard press release.
The vessel, Panache, was heading from Annapolis,Md., to St. Thomas,Virgin Islands, when the engine cut out and the rudder broke at around 11 a.m. in the midst of more than 30-knot winds and 15-foot seas. Unable to steer, the crew called the Coast Guard’s Fifth District Office in Portsmouth,Va., via satellite phone about 11:30 a.m., according to the report.
“[They] were able to keep the craft from capsizing by using a sea anchor and a storm sail,” Petty Officer Andrew Kendrick told the Baltimore Sun.
A Coast Guard J-130 plane and a Jayhawk helicopter left Elizabeth City, N.C., for the site and found they could not get more than 50 to 100 feet from Panache because of the swinging mast, so a rescue swimmer was lowered into the water and helped the boat’s passengers into the water and to the basket to be hoisted into the helicopter, according to the Baltimore Sun.
Once aboard the helicopter, all six people were flown to a Bermuda hospital where they are currently recovering. Panache was left adrift, but notices sent to boaters via the Coast Guard could lead to its recovery.
To view the video of the rescue, visit the Coast Guard YouTube link at: http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=lU2vrabpM2I
— Elizabeth Ellis