Two ships and a helicopter from the Coast Guard saved a 95-foot yacht from sinking in the Mona Passage, about 26 nm west of Rincon, Puerto Rico.
The Coast Guard says that the yacht, Current Sea from Fort Lauderdale, reported it was taking on water and the bow was riding low in the water. The captain of the yacht transmitted a Mayday call at 8:54 a.m., which was received by the Coast Guard in San Juan.
The bow was damaged when the anchor reportedly came loose and punctured the hull in two areas. The bilge was flooding.
The Coast Guard launched a Jayhawk helicopter and sent two cutters to the scene. The helicopter got there first and lowered a rescue swimmer and a P-6 dewatering pump to the yacht to control the flooding.
The cutter Winslow Griesser arrived shortly after, and sent a two-man team with another P-6 pump over to the Current Sea. They helped to stabilize the yacht and reduced the flooding from more than three feet to about one foot.
Two of the yacht’s crew were transferred to the 35-foot tender it was towing, while the captain remained on board. The Winslow Griesser team worked for four hours to reduce the flooding; it also was able to patch and plug the holes in the hull.
The cutter Richard Dixon then relieved the Winslow Griesser and escorted the Current Sea to a safe harbor in Mayaguez, Puerto Rico. There were no injuries or further flooding.
“This case highlights the many hazards of any ocean voyage,” said Lt. Benjamin Williamsz, the commanding officer of the Winslow Griesser, “and the important work that the Coast Guard does every day to save lives and property.” Read more: