AMVER aids rescue of sailboat off Massachusetts

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Coast Guard crews coordinated a rescue earlier this week for a sailboat about 1,250 miles southeast of Nantucket, Mass.

Watchstanders from the 1st District Command Center received a distress signal from a personal locator beacon at about 8:30 a.m. Monday from the 40-foot sailboat Wacawa. Two Canadian mariners were reported to be aboard.

The mariners were sailing from Spain to Canada when their boat experienced foul weather and diverted toward New York. On their new course they activated their PLB because one of them was having chest pain.

Because of the distance offshore, the Coast Guard contacted boats in the area to assist. The 506-foot Renate Schulte, a member of the Automated Mutual-Assistance Vessel Rescue System, responded.

“The Coast Guard relies heavily on our AMVER vessels to respond during these long-ranged cases,” Petty Officer 1st Class Joquin Alayola, a 1st District Command Center search and rescue controller, said in a statement. “This extends our search-and-rescue capabilities outside the normal operating area.”

AMVER is a computer-based, voluntary global ship reporting system used worldwide by search-and-rescue authorities to arrange for assistance to people in distress at sea.

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