DEC. 30 — Jean Raymon Collon received an early Christmas present last Saturday when he was rescued by the Coast Guard after his engine died on his 29-foot sailboat in the middle of the Atlantic at about 7 a.m., according to a Coast Guard press release.
Collon was attempting to sail alone from Nova Scotia to Bermuda in his sailboat the Grail Pilgrin when his engine gave out last Thursday about 350 miles off Cape Cod, Mass., according to The Boston Globe. Operating solely on battery power, Collon attempted to sail back to shore when fatigue and seasickness overtook him. He called the Halifax Joint Rescue Coordination Center in Canada on Thursday evening, according to the article.
Contacting the Coast Guard, the 270-foot cutter Tahoma based in Kittery, Maine, along with a smaller rescue boat onboard was dispatched to rescue Collon after it was determined he was too far out to sea to be rescued by helicopter, according to the Coast Guard press release.
“Fortunately we have an excellent working relationship with our Canadian partners,” stated Andrew Madjeska, search and rescue coordinator, in the press release. “With a mariner in distress so very far offshore, our coordination is extremely important.”
The Tahoma made visual and radio contact with Collon at 8:15 a.m. on Friday morning, according to the press release. The cutter tried several times Friday to reach Collin but was prevented due to 15-foot seas. Finally by Saturday morning, the smaller boat was able to cut through the waves and transport Collin to the Tahoma, according to the press release. As for the boat, the Coast Guard placed a locator on the Grail Pilgrin to track and, hopefully, retrieve it.
Collin was reportedly on his way to spend the holidays with his family and will decide whether to retrieve the Grail Pilgrin upon his return.
— Elizabeth Ellis