While an offshore emergency is never an easy thing to handle, this story makes us realize the importance of thinking through the message that we need to get across when one arises. If there are only one or two words you can transmit, what should they be?
The Coast Guard crews from the air and sea searched for and located a sailor in a disabled sailboat 160 miles southwest of San Diego Saturday.
The sailor departed from San Diego on Nov. 1, and was reportedly bound for Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. The 11th Coast Guard District Command Center received a call from the sailor’s friend Friday night, and he reported that the sailor left a him a phone message of “Emergency, emergency,” and nothing more.
With no information to go on, Coast Guard Sector San Diego issued an urgent marine information broadcast for vessels in the area to keep a look out for anyone in distress and to report it to the Coast Guard. Then, at approximately 8:00 a.m., the sailor’s friend contacted the Coast Guard again and reported that his friend had called him back and relayed a position. A C-130 Hercules aircraft from Coast Guard Air Station Sacramento, Calif., was able to locate him and remained on scene until the Coast Guard Cutter Mellon, a 378-foot high endurance cutter homeported in Seattle, was able to assist in the rescue.
Once on scene, a small-boat crew from the cutter was able to get close to sailboat and ensure that he was safe even though his boat’s boom was damaged and his engine was gone. The sailor was brought aboard the Mellon and is being transported back to San Diego. His sailboat has been marked as a hazard to navigation.
For the complete story, go to www.coastguardnews.com.