Two Catamaran Crews Rescued at Sea

A Gunboat 55 is dismasted off Hatteras; a home-built cat takes on water en route to Hawaii.

PORTSMOUTH, Va. – The Coast Guard rescued five people Friday, January 30, 2015 from a sailboat after the sailboat’s mast broke approximately 200 miles off the coast of North Carolina.

Watchstanders at the Coast Guard 5th District Command Center in Portsmouth received notification at approximately 1:50 p.m. that the Gunboat 55 Rain Maker, homeported in Manhattan, New York, suffered a broken mast in approximate 40-mph winds and 13-foot seas roughly 200 miles southeast of Cape Hatteras, North Carolina.

The Coast Guard issued an urgent marine information broadcast and prepared to launch aircrews to respond.

The crew aboard the approximately 350-foot cargo ship Ocean Crescent responded to the UMIB, stating they were located approximately 40 miles from the distressed sailboat and were diverting to respond.

An MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew and a C-130 Hercules airplane crew, both from Coast Guard Air Station Elizabeth City, North Carolina, were launched at about 3:20 p.m.

The Ocean Crescent crew arrived on scene at approximately 4:05 p.m. and unsuccessfully attempted to come alongside Rain Maker.

The Coast Guard helicopter crew arrived on scene at approximately 5 p.m. and hoisted all five people. The five boaters were transported to Dare County Regional Airport in Manteo, North Carolina, and arrived at approximately 8:10 p.m. in good condition.

“The mission today was challenging for our crews due to the distance from shore and the weather conditions,” said Petty Officer 1st Class Allen Facenda, an operations specialist in Portsmouth who worked on the case. “The crew we rescued had a registered and up-to-date emergency position indicating radio beacon that told us their exact position. All five people were wearing life jackets and were prepared to abandon their vessel in a life raft. We were happy to get there before that became necessary.”

Flyin' Hawiian

ALAMEDA, Calif. — The Coast Guard rescued five people from a sinking 65-foot sailing vessel approximately 120 miles off the Monterey coast, Saturday.

At approximately 8 a.m. Saturday, the 11th Coast Guard District Command Center received a distress signal from a personal locator beacon. A C17 transport aircraft under Oakland Center Control, flying at approximately 5,000 feet, visually identified the sailing vessel in the vicinity of the alert location and confirmed that the sailing vessel Flyin' Hawaiian was taking on water.

The Coast Guard responded with a Coast Guard Air Station Sacramento HC-130H Hercules aircrew. The crew was able to contact and divert the tank ship Aqualeader, that was 24 miles from the sailing vessel's location. Though unable to remove anyone off the vessel, the Aqualeader assisted by blocking seas and wind for the Flyin' Hawaiian.

The Coast Guard launched a Coast Guard Air Station San Francisco MH-65 helicopter rescue crew and a MH-65 helicopter rescue crew from Coast Guard Air Station Los Angeles.

Both helicopter crews successfully rescued the five people from the sinking sailing vessel.

All five people were transported to shore with no reported injuries.