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Press Release | Nov. 16, 2023

Coast Guard rescues overdue mariner 270 miles off NC

CAPE MAY, N.J.  — Coast Guard crews rescued an overdue mariner 270 miles off Hatteras, North Carolina, Wednesday.

Coast Guard Sector New York watchstanders received a report of lost communications from the family of the mariner who departed Jersey City, New Jersey, en route to Bermuda, stating that they lost contact on Nov. 6, and that as of Tuesday, he was considered overdue.

Watchstanders from the Coast Guard Atlantic Area command center assumed responsibility of search and rescue efforts, coordinating the launch of assets from the Coast Guard’s First and Fifth districts and issuing an urgent marine information broadcast (UMIB).

The sailing vessel Time Bandit heard the UMIB and happened upon an adrift sailing vessel with tattered sails and a missing boom, matching the description of the overdue mariner’s boat. The good Samaritan made contact with the overdue mariner. Due to on scene conditions, the Coast Guard advised against an at-sea transfer.

The crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Lawrence Lawson (WPC 1120), based in Cape May, New Jersey, arrived on scene Wednesday and safely transferred him aboard the cutter. The mariner was transported in stable condition and reunited with family Thursday at Coast Guard Training Center Cape May.

“We are pleased that this case resulted in a family reunion,” said Cmdr. Wes Geyer, search and rescue mission coordinator, Coast Guard Atlantic Area. "The search area for this case was nearly twice the size of Texas and the seas are very unforgiving. We urge all mariners venturing offshore to carry a properly registered Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon (EPIRB). This device can help pinpoint your exact location should the unthinkable ever happen." 

The Coast Guard dispatched additional assets to assist in the search and rescue case, including:

  • An HC-130 Hercules crew from Air Station Elizabeth City, N.C.
  • An MH-60 helicopter crew from Air Station Elizabeth City
  • An HC-144 crew from Air Station Cape Cod, Mass.

To register your EPIRB, please go to Register your Beacon | SARSAT (

The Coast Guard Atlantic Area located in Portsmouth, Virginia, is responsible for overseeing all Coast Guard operations from the Rocky Mountains to the Arabian Gulf.