Survivor Club

Rescue Map

Near Disaster At Sea

Name David Chatburn
Product Name GlobalFix iPRO EPIRB
Date of Rescue 05/08/2010
Saved By United States Coast Guard
Lives Saved 1

On May 8th, I left Little Creek Norfolk enroute to Eyemouth, Scotland.  The wind was expected to be out of the southwest at 30 knots; however, as I proceeded on my way the wind and general conditions were much stronger than expected.  I turned into the wind several times to deploy the paraanchor, but conditions were such it was not safe to go forward to deploy it. 

I felt it was better to continue at the helm in hopes that I would find much better weather conditions.  So for the next three days, I stayed at the helm.  No water, no food and no sleep! After three days I called my wife, Penny Murphy, on the satellite phone and at that time I was hallucinating, seeing things that were not there.  In fact, I told her that there were four people onboard the boat and also indicated that the sails were in such a state they were of no further use. From my conversation with my wife she determined that I was in trouble. She then called the U.S. Coast Guard.

ADavid -Chatburn 1according to the watchstanders at the Coast Guard 5th District Command Center, they reported receiving the call from my wife, who had consulted with a good friend and neighbor, Tom West, also a sailor, who believed that calling the Coast Guard was in order.  The Coast Guard personnel was contacted and responded by me. After asking me to activate my EPIRB (an ACR GobalFix™ iPRO), they diverted the container ship M/V President Jackson, a participant in the Automated Mutual Assistance Vessel Rescue (AMVER) system, to the vicinity of my last known location.  The President Jackson was able to locate my sailboat, which was adrift, but the merchant vessel's size prevented it from rendering assistance. The ocean-going tugboat, Julie, another AMVER participant, was also diverted to the scene and its crew was able to lower a boat into the water and pull alongside my 34-foot sailboat, The Lancastrian.  The crew, after noting my condition, reported that I needed medical assistance.  A HH-60 Jayhawk rescue helicopter was then launched from Air Station Elizabeth City and arrived on scene at 10 a.m. on Monday, May 10th.  Rescue swimmers assisted in hoisting me aboard the helicopter and a decision was made to abandon the sailboat (which later was safely recovered and is now back in my possession).

Epilogue

Between my GlobalFix iPRO EPIRB and the United States Coast Guard a safe rescue was made.  What a smart investment I made by buying the GlobalFix.  Never go offshore without an EPIRB! Buy the best.