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‘Pirates’ get a helping hand





When a weather-beaten “pirate” ship began taking on water near the Bahamas on Feb. 27, the BoatU.S. Foundation for Boating Safety and a few good Samaritans were at the ready, according to a press release by Boat U.S.

The Treasure Seeker, a 65-foot diesel-powered pirate ship replica with twin masts was on its way from St. Petersburg, Fla., to St. Thomas, USVI, when it hit rough weather on the night of Feb. 26. A check of the vessel early the next morning determined there was water rising in the bilge and it could not be fixed. The crew activated an EPIRB that was rented from BoatU.S. and it was picked up by the Coast Guard Station in Miami, Fla. They acquired their GPS coordinates and relayed an emergency call to local mariners in the Bahamas, according to the report.

The 104-foot dive boat SV Juliet got the call and diverted from her course 45 miles to the sinking boat’s location, rescuing all five crew from The Treasure Seeker, according to the report. A Coast Guard C-130 arrived on the scene shortly afterward, just in time to see the schooner disappear under the waves, along with the crew’s possessions.

The Treasure Seeker’s crew arrived safely back to the Bahamas, and no injuries have been reported by the crew on either vessel.

- Elizabeth Ellis