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Merchant vessel crew saves four sailors

The Coast Guard and Amver, the Automated Mutual-Assistance Vessel Rescue system, coordinated with the merchant vessel La Scala Thursday in the rescue of four people from a capsized trimaran.

The French-flagged sailing vessel Nim capsized 1,000 miles east-southeast of Bermuda.

Coast Guard Fifth District received an EPIRB alert from the French based Grig-Nez Maritime Rescue Coordination Center informing them that the 50-foot trimaran had capsized, but the sailors were doing well and staying atop the overturned hull of the vessel.

The Coast Guard, using the Amver system, contacted the merchant vessel La Scala, which diverted course to assist. Upon arrival, the La Scala crew did not find the four people aboard the Nim. Shortly after, the missing crew was located and taken aboard the La Scala.

"It's amazing stuff," said Thomas Botzenhart, search-and-rescue coordinator at the Coast Guard Fifth District Command Center. "It just goes to show that these Amver vessels are like force multipliers for the Coast Guard and gives us the ability to render assistance to mariners anywhere in the world."

Click here for audio of the rescue.

This is the second time in 10 days the Amver system has facilitated the rescue of mariners in distress. The merchant vessel Maersk Kolkata assisted a mariner aboard the sailing vessel Summer Delight 288 nautical miles from Bermuda when the mainsails were damaged and the fuel and food were running low during his voyage to Bermuda from Nova Scotia.