Belfast man rescued off coast of Colombia

Posted March 23, 2012, at 3:21 p.m.

BELFAST, Maine — A Belfast man was saved Thursday after his boat started taking on water off Cartagena, Colombia, according to the U.S. Coast Guard.

The Coast Guard did not name the 69-year-old Mainer, but said he was alone and 10 miles out to sea when Colombian officials saw him bailing water out of his sailboat, Amity.

According to the emergency call made to the Coast Guard, the boat is 34 feet long and its sail was wrapped around the mast.

“The mariner only had flares and a personal floatation device, but no Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon or VHF radio,” stated a Coast Guard press release on Friday.

The sailor had called his daughter, who called the Coast Guard in Boston. The U.S. Coast Guard then asked the Colombian coast guard for help.

The vessel was found and towed to Cartagena for repairs. Apparently the man was unharmed.

“This case shows the importance of partnerships with foreign rescue coordination centers,” said Lt. Adam Schmid. “In this scenario, given the lack of life saving and communication equipment on board, RCC may have never known a vessel was in distress. An EPIRB can give the responders an edge with real-time positions.”

CORRECTION:

The rescue took place Thursday, not Friday.

http://bangordailynews.com/2012/03/23/news/midcoast/belfast-man-rescued-off-coast-of-colombia/ printed on October 23, 2014