On April 6th, the four-man crew of Ocean Adventure Rowing and Education (O.A.R Northwest) attempting a Trans-Atlantic Expedition from Dakar to Miami was derailed after their boat capsized about 400 miles north of Puerto Rico.
The 4 rowers were all equipped with ACR ResQLink Personal Locator Beacons which they promptly activated to facilitate their own rescue. Coast Guard Sector San Juan received their 406 MHz distress message at 6:30 a.m. on Saturday morning. Coast Guard watch-stands immediately coordinated the launch of a Coast Guard HC-144 Ocean Sentry aircraft from Air Station Miami and a C-130 Hercules aircraft from Air Station Clearwater Fla. to search for the distressed vessel and possible survivors.
The crew of the HC-144 out of Miami arrived on scene at approximately 11 a.m. Saturday and located all four men safely on board the life raft and they dropped food rations for the boaters as well as a VHF marine radio to establish communications. The C-130 aircraft out of Clearwater later arrived on scene and the crew also dropped a second load of rations and a VHF marine radio, which the boaters used to confirm they were all safe. The C-130 aircraft crew maintained watch over the boaters until an AMVER participating vessel, the Heijin, safely recovered all four survivors from the life raft shortly before sunset when they were transported to Puerto Rico.
"Jordan and his crew exemplify everything we try to educate outdoor enthusiasts on; planning for the best, but preparing for the worst. Mother Nature can be cruel and unpredictable, but they had a safety plan, they practiced the plan and as a result they minimalized the risk to the USCG crews and facilitated their own rescue," said Mikele D'Arcangelo, Marketing Director of ACR Electronics.
Survivor Jordan Hanssen on behalf of his crew and sponsors ventured on a Thank You Tour throughout Florida in appreciation of everyone that played a part in the rescue. Jordan started his Thank You Tour at Coast Guard Air Station Miami on May 1st, followed by a visit to the manufacturer of the rescue beacons, ACR Electronics, Inc., which the crew used to notify the Coast Guard of their distress. Finally Jordan's tour ended at Coast Guard station Clearwater where he again thanked the crew of the C-130.
Please click these links to learn more about this story and to see photos:
Recent, related coverage: