Survivor Club

Rescue Map

Great example of mariners being prepared

Name PAUL from Braintree
Product Name ResQLink+™ PLB
Date of Rescue 11/13/2015
Saved By USCG NEW LONDON CT
Beacon Purchased From West Marine
Lives Saved 2

I purchased the 33’ Beneteau Antares named “Blue Eyes” in Oriental, NC in early November 2015 and hired a professional captain to help navigate the boat back up to Boston by water.  My flight landed in New Bern NC on Nov. 7th and it was as if the trip was cursed from the get go as my luggage was somehow put on a plane to West Palm Beach.  Luckily I had packed a small carry-on as a backup.  We set sail from Oriental on November 8 and the weather would not cooperate with us.  Once we headed north and out into the Chesapeake Bay, it was a bumpy and long ride.  The winds would not let up and as we persevered north, it seemed we were going to get a first hand experience of Mother Natures unrelenting power. 

On November 12th, while traveling through the Long Island Sound, the rough ride had stirred up sediment in the two diesel tanks and we lost the port engine from clogged filters and docked for the night in Stamford CT.  The filters were changed and we set sail on the morning of Friday, November the 13th.  I remember saying to the Dock-master at the marina, “What else could go wrong?” and he replied “Don’t say that, you do know its Friday the 13th?”  I thought nothing of it until approximately 16:00 hours when a critical navigation error caused us to miss a channel marker and the “Blue Eyes” struck Sugar Reef which was submerged and not visible from our position. 

The vessel began to take on water at a very fast rate and it was clear that we were going to be abandoning ship within minutes. We donned our live vests and the Captain put out a Mayday call to the USCG and gave them our Lat and Lon.  I activated the ACR ResQlink plus and we advised them that the boat was sinking fast and we would be abandoning ship.  I affixed the PLB to my wrist and we were advised that there was a USCG boat approximately 15-20 min away.  The stern of the boat went under and the cockpit and salon began to flood with seawater and we abandoned ship and minutes later, “Blue Eyes” sank and went under.

The Captain and I floated in the cool waters for approximately 10-15 minutes and I repeatedly launched flares from the flare-gun I had gone into the water with.  Soon I was able to see the 47 foot orange Coast Guard rescue boat headed our way.   The crew of the USCG boat plucked us out of the water and got us safely back to shore.   They are true heroes and we owe our lives to them.   A big thank you also goes out to ACR for making the ResQlink plus which helped the USCG locate us in the rough waters and low visibility.  Without a doubt, it is the best $250 I have ever spent.  The “Blue Eyes” went down and after an extensive search using side scan sonar for several days, she was never located.  The crewmen (heroes) of the USCG boat that saved us were awarded lifesaving medals in a ceremony on April 29, 2016 in Connecticut.

 

 

Epilogue

http://www.soundingsonline.com/news/coastwise/294464-in-distress-they-did-everything-correctly

About 3 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 13, the Coast Guard Sector Long Island Sound command center received a mayday call from a 32-foot powerboat over VHF channel 16. The boat was taking on water off Watch Hill, Rhode Island, and the two aboard required assistance.

The boaters said they were wearing life jackets and that the operator had a personal locator beacon. Watchstanders diverted a 45-foot response boat from Station New London to the scene, issued an urgent marine information broadcast and told the skipper to activate his PLB. An Air Station Cape Cod HC-144 aircraft also diverted to the scene. Twenty minutes later, the boaters were safely aboard the response boat.

“This is a great example of mariners being prepared prior to going out on the water,” says Chief Petty Officer Frank St. Pierre, the command duty officer at Sector Long Island Sound. distress2The two were pulled from the water just 20 minutes after placing the mayday call.“They remained calm, maintained constant communications with the Coast Guard on channel 16, donned their life jackets, activated their personal locator beacon and confirmed their position using emergency flares. The reliable gear on board the vessel and the outstanding response from Station New London and Air Station Cape Cod led to a successful rescue.”

The boaters were transported to Noank Shipyard in Groton, Connecticut, where emergency medical services were waiting to take them to Pequot Hospital in Groton. No injuries were reported.

Thank you ACR! You little but powerful ResQlink+ PLB was critical in saving my life and my boat Captain. Thank you, Thank you!!!!!!