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Press Release | June 1, 2023

Coast Guard, good Samaritans rescue 2 adults, 2 children 1,105 miles from Bermuda

PORTSMOUTH, Va. — The Coast Guard and good Samaritans aboard one sailing vessel and two commercial vessels rescued two adults and two young children from their sailboat, Le Chercheur, approximately 1,105 miles north-east of Bermuda, Tuesday. 

The Coast Guard 5th District Command Center received an Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon (EPIRB) and a relay call for assistance from the French-flagged vessel crew traveling from Saint Maarten to the Azores who felt sea-sick, fatigued, and were concerned about incoming weather.

The command center conducted an Automated Mutual-Assistance Vessel Rescue System (Amver) surface picture to determine the closest vessels to the distress location. They contacted two Amver vessels, the Antarctic and Overseas Santorini, that diverted to assist the sailors. The sailing vessel El Areo was also in the area and diverted to render assistance.

The Overseas Santorini located the four individuals and embarked them shortly before the sailboat began listing and taking on water.

“The sea can be dangerous and unpredictable,” said Matthew Brooks, the 5th District Search and Rescue Mission Coordinator. “We always recommend mariners ensure they are as prepared as possible, especially for a long journey with children. It is fortunate we were able to locate their vessel so quickly, considering how far from shore they were. Amver is a useful system and tool for providing additional measures of safety by covering a wider and farther search area.”

The two adults and two children, aged five and eight, are being taken to Algeciras, Spain and reportedly suffered minor injuries.

Amver is a worldwide voluntary reporting system sponsored by the Coast Guard. It is a computer-based global ship-reporting system used worldwide by search and rescue authorities to arrange for assistance to persons in distress at sea.