Disoriented Sailor with Disabled Vessel Rescued 300+ Miles Offshore

Yet another reminder of the importance of having an EPIRB on board and just how much a lack of good rest can affect your safety.

The Coast Guard safely towed a lost operator and his sailing vessel, Lancastrian, approximately 370 miles to Cobb’s Marina in Little Creek, VA, Sunday. The boat’s operator, David Chatburn, called the Coast Guard 5th District command center Wednesday to request assistance after becoming confused about his position.

“One of the best pieces of equipment that Mr. Chatburn had onboard the sailing vessel Lancastrian was his emergency position indicating radio beacon,” said Lt. Scott Farr, a command duty officer at the 5th District Command Center. “After he made his way through adverse weather and remained awake for four days without any adequate rest, he became confused and provided conflicting positions. With the help of his EPIRB, which we directed him to turn on, we knew exactly where he was.”

“When there is conflicting information on a mariner’s position, an EPRIB can provide the true location of a mariner in distress, provided that the mariner is near their EPIRB,” added Farr. “The 5th District Command Center watchstanders could watch his vessel track towards the North East. This information was continually passed to the Coast Guard Cutter Tampa to vector them to his sailboat. Without a doubt, the EPIRB was the most important piece of equipment that assisted us in assisting Mr. Chatburn.”

Chatburn was traveling from Little Creek to Scotland when he encountered adverse weather and was forced to turn back after his sailing vessel sustained steering damage. The Coast Guard launched an HC-130 Hercules rescue aircraft crew to maintain communication with the sailing vessel.

For the complete story, go to www.coastguardnews.com.

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