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Commercial ship saves sailors in distress

An Amver-participating bulker, the Daio Azalea, rescued two Italian sailors early Wednesday morning after their 43 foot catamaran sank 900 miles east of Boston. One sailor suffered a minor head injury in the rescue operation.

U.S. Coast Guard rescue personnel received notification from rescue authorities in Rome that the catamaran suffered a broken mast and was taking on water. Coast Guard personnel queried the Amver system and diverted the Panamanian flagged ship to the distress location. The Daio Azalea was only 28 miles from the stricken sailboat.

Amver, sponsored by the Coast Guard, is a unique, computer-based, and voluntary global ship reporting system used worldwide by search-and-rescue authorities to arrange for assistance to persons in distress at sea.

"We took a big wave and broke our sail and a window," reported one of the sailors on the Stella Cometa. "We are unable to pump water, have our life jackets on and our life raft ready."

The weather was deteriorating as waves increased to 15 feet and winds were gusting at more than 40 knots.

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