The U.S. Coast Guard, Canadian Joint Rescue Coordination Centre Halifax, a Canadian Forces CC-130 Hercules and two merchant vessels worked together Thursday to rescue four French sailors more than 1,400 miles east-northeast of Provincetown, Mass.
The 600-foot tanker Unique Sunshine, an Automated Mutual-Assistance Vessel Rescue System (AMVER) member, and the 250-foot oil rig tender Maersk Chancellor rescued the sailors after their boat, the 36-foot red-hulled sailboat Roule Ta Bille, capsized and the mast broke. The sailboat was righted, but could not make its way into port.
At approximately 9:50 p.m., the District Command Center received an alert from the boat’s 406 MHz Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon, as well as notification from the SPOT GPS messenger response center. SPOT is a commercial emergency system that sends a vessel’s GPS location to the company’s emergency response center.
“It's great that the sailors have so many means of communication aboard their boat,” said Tim Carton, the search-and-rescue specialist for the 1st District.