French Sailor Rescued Thanks to EPIRB

Another sailor saved by having the proper safety equipment aboard.

Coast Guard crews in combined efforts with the crew of the cargo vessel Megalodon rescued a sailor aboard a life raft Friday, approximately 420 nautical miles northeast of Puerto Rico. Cedric George Barriere, a 41-year-old French citizen, was forced to abandon the French-flagged s/v Tepacap after the vessel reportedly capsized and started to sink.

“We are pleased that Mr. Barriere was rescued after abandoning his boat into a life raft,” Lt. Matthew S. Baker, Coast Guard Sector San Juan command duty officer. “This case is a good example of the effectiveness of modern survival equipment, including a properly registered 406 megahertz EPIRB and a satellite phone. We are also grateful to the Megalodon for their willingness to divert from their voyage and rescue Mr. Barriere and for the joint communication between them, our command center and our HU-25 Falcon crew.”

Barriere was able to board his life raft with food, water, a satellite phone, a handheld GPS  device, and a 406MHz-EPRIRB. The sailor communicated his distress by activating his 406MHz-EPIRB and calling back to France using his satellite phone.

Coast Guard watchstanders in Sector San Juan received notification at 8 a.m. Friday from a French Rescue Coordination Center watchstander in Martinque, who reported to the Coast Guard that the French-flagged sailing vessel had sunk approximately 420 nautical miles east of Puerto Rico.

Coast Guard watchstanders immediately launched an HU-25 Falcon Jet from Coast Guard Air Station Borinquen to search for the distressed sailor. They also conducted an Automated Mutual Assistance Vessel Rescue (AMVER) callout to identify and notify vessels transiting in the vicinity of the distress.

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