AMVER call saves two Canadian sailors

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Last week, two 65-year-old Canadian sailors in distress far from land benefited from the global maritime support program known as the Automated Mutual Assistance Vessel Rescue System, or AMVER.

The 34-foot sloop Chessa was bound for the West Indies when one of the crew fell ill and the healthy crewman diverted toward Bermuda. On Wednesday, as the ailing crewman’s health deteriorated, the boat issued a mayday call 260 miles northwest of Bermuda.

"He passed out," the skipper told officials on VHF radio, "and a strong front is coming over and we are in the low."

The Coast Guard issued an AMVER alert and the nearby 656-foot cargo ship SMT Bontrup steamed to the rescue.

Click here for a report by WCSH 6 News and click here for the official AMVER press release.

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