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505 Emergency Calling helps rescue distressed sailor stranded in raft

09 February, 2011


The 505 Emergency Calling service has been used to co-ordinate the rescue of a 65 year old French sailor stranded on a life raft 1,200 nautical miles east of Puerto Rico who was forced to abandon his yacht, Nacouda, when it started taking on water in 30mph winds and 10-foot waves while on his way from the Canary Islands to Guadeloupe.

A distress signal from a 406 emergency position-indicating radio beacon was received by the US Coast Guard, who directed the 44,000 tonnes Philippines-registered vehicle carrier Sebring Express to its location.


Distress situation
During the rescue co-ordination, which took place during the night of 3-4 February, the Sebring Express called the US Coastguard in Norfolk, Virginia, six times using FleetBroadband's free 505 Emergency Calling service.

The Sebring Express arrived in the vicinity of the location of the beacon transmission and crewmen spotted a strobe light. As the vessel approached the strobe light, a flare was seen and the sailor heard calling out for help.

The sailor who was from Langon, France, was taken aboard the Sebring Express and was reported to be in good health and spirits.

"By virtue of him having bought the radio beacon and having it correctly registered allowed us to know who was in trouble and find him that much easier," said petty officer David Marin, with the Coast Guard 5th District Command Center in Portsmouth, Virginia.

Source - Inmarsat

 
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