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Bulk carrier rescues sailor after dismasting

Bulk carrier rescues sailor after dismasting

A man whose sailboat was dismasted in heavy winds about 575 miles northeast of Bermuda was rescued by a Panama-flagged bulk carrier.

Mark Currel, 31, of Barcelona, Spain, was single-handing the 40-footer Fantasy from Palm Beach, Fla., to the Azores. He had left Florida around April 30.

Coast Guard Rescue Coordination Center Norfolk in Portsmouth, Va., received an EPIRB signal May 9 and launched a C-130 Hercules aircraft from Air Station Elizabeth City, N.C. The bulk carrier Hudson, en route to the United Kingdom, also was diverted to investigate. Seas were 5 to 7 feet, and winds were 20 mph with gusts up to 60 mph, according to the Coast Guard.

After a nearly five hour flight, the C-130 aircraft arrived at the location of the signal. The crew saw that Fantasy was dismasted, and Currel requested that he be taken off the boat.

The Coast Guard alerted the Hudson, which arrived at Fantasy’s location early the next day and transported Currel to Europe.

The Coast Guard was unaware of whether Currel planned to salvage his boat.

The Hudson participates in the Automated Mutual Assistance Vessel Rescue system, a voluntary global ship reporting system used worldwide for assistance to persons in distress at sea. Some 12,000 ships participate in the system.