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Photoboy
05-31-2019, 01:16 PM
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ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. — Coast Guard crews rescued a man and woman from a capsized sailboat about 65 miles east of Atlantic City late Wednesday night.

The Coast Guard’s Fifth District Command Center in Portsmouth, Virginia, was notified of the vessel’s distress after receiving an alert from the crew’s Electronic Position Indicating Radio Beacon.

Watchstanders called the emergency contact registered with the EPIRB, who said the mariners have been sailing around the world for the past few years on the 55-foot wooden-hull sailboat, Bertie, and the last leg of the trip had been from the Bahamas to New York City.

The vessel was outside of range for VHF and cell reception, so watchstanders directed the Coast Guard Cutter Lawrence Lawson, an Air Station Atlantic City MH-65 Dolphin helicopter crew and an Air Station Elizabeth City HC-130 Hercules airplane crew to the EPIRB’s location, where the sailboat was found capsized.

“When our helicopter arrived on-scene, the crew followed a blinking strobe light and discovered a man and a woman clinging to the hull of their capsized sailboat," said Lt. Tyler Bittner, the operations duty officer in Atlantic City.

Both mariners were hoisted aboard the MH-65 Dolphin helicopter and brought back to Air Station Atlantic City, where they were met by awaiting EMS.

The Coast Guard Cutter Lawrence Lawson remained on scene to mark the sailboat and attempt to recover the EPIRB.

"This was an extremely challenging hoist due to on-scene conditions, but the entire crew came together to work as a team to get the job done," said Lt. Anthony Monteforte, one of the helicopter pilots on the case. "I am extremely proud of my crew and all of the other assets that aided in this rescue and thankful that the survivors onboard used a currently registered EPIRB so that we could quickly locate them."



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BERTIE, a heavy yawl built on the general lines of Slocum's SPRAY.
Designed and built by Peter W. Bailey, Sausalito, California, 1976-84.



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https://www.nbcphiladelphia.com REPORTS (https://www.nbcphiladelphia.com/news/local/Sailboat-Capsizes-Coast-Guard-Rescue-Ocean-New-Jersey-510607161.html)

A husband and wife are safe after they spent three hours clinging to their capsized sailboat in the Atlantic Ocean during Wednesday's storms.
Heidi Snyder and Peter Bailey were sailing in their 55-foot vessel Bertie Wednesday night. The sailboat, which Bailey built himself, was headed to New York from the Bahamas when it encountered stormy conditions about 65 miles east of Barnegat Light. A sudden squall caused the boat to capsize, plunging the couple into the chilly ocean water.

"Within ten seconds there was 60 knot gusts and the boat was almost on its side," Snyder said. "The moment it was happening, I was like, 'Oh my God. Oh my God. Oh my God.' Just couldn't believe it. Just the rushing water. I was like, 'Oh my God, this is it.'"

The couple held onto parts of the boat, a paddleboard and each other for three hours. After being unable to get to the electronic radio beacon, a shift in the boat allowed them to grab it.
"And it was her last gift to us," Snyder said. "Her last valiant effort to give us life."

The emergency distress signal notified the U.S. Coast Guard that something was wrong and provided the boat's location through GPS.
"Without that EPIRB (Electronic Position Indicating Radio Beacon), no one would even know that the vessel had capsized," Lt. Anthony Monteforte, a U.S. Coast Guard pilot, said.

The Coast Guard launched a helicopter from Atlantic City and a plane from North Carolina. A Coast Guard cutter also was dispatched to the scene.
"When our helicopter arrived on-scene, the crew followed a blinking strobe light and discovered a man and a woman clinging to the hull of their capsized sailboat," said Lt. Tyler Bittner, the operations duty officer in Atlantic City.
Rescue swimmer Robert Ochoa was part of the four-member helicopter crew. He endured six-foot waves to get the couple hoisted aboard the helicopter. It was his first true rescue after rigorous training.

"This was real," Ochoa said. "This was actual people out there. It's dark. Couldn't see anything. It was foggy out."
Snyder and Bailey were taken to AtlantiCare Regional Medical Center to be checked for hypothermia. They're both doing okay. The hospital helped them get new clothes since almost everything they owned was on the boat.

Snyder and Bailey, who have been sailing in the Pacific and Atlantic for the past three years, were thankful for the hospital staff as well as the Coast Guard members who saved their lives.
"They're amazing," Snyder said. "Brave. Courageous. We are forever grateful to them."
Lt. Monteforte also praised the rescue crew.

"This was an extremely challenging hoist due to on-scene conditions, but the entire crew came together to work as a team to get the job done," he said. "I am extremely proud of my crew and all of the other assets that aided in this rescue and thankful that the survivors on board used a currently registered EPIRB so that we could quickly locate them."


A GoFundMe CLICKY (https://www.gofundme.com/1niftccdio) campaign was created to help the couple rebuild after losing their boat.

At approximately 8 pm on the evening of Wednesday, May 29th, our home and sailboat, The Bertie, was knocked down by a "White Squall," and capsized, 65 miles offshore of the New Jersey coast. We were literally swamped and swallowed under within 60 seconds; water rushed in and we were catapulted off the boat and into the ocean. We were able to climb up on to the bottom of the boat and see if we could dive for the emergency epirb device. No luck, it just was not within reach for the breath we had. About 30 minutes later, the boat started to roll back up, leaving the port side with access, and miraculously with the epirb in view, we grabbed and activated it. That was the last offering of life that Bertie gave us. Peter built Bertie with his own hands and poured years of blood, sweat and tears into her being.

Thanks to the heroic efforts of the US Coast Guard, we are still alive! We were plucked from the water, placed in a basket, hoisted up to the helicopter and shuttled to the AtlantiCare Regional Medical Center with nothing but our lives and just the cloths on our backs!

Everything we owned was lost to the sea ... our tools of the trade, phones, computers, passports, important documents, artwork, photography equipment, photos, travel mementos, home stuff ... everything. We had literally 1minute from the time the squall hit until we were thrown off the boat.

We are so very grateful that we are alive, sustained no injuries and have family who we love and love us, and that is THE most important part of this whole story. We are so grateful for all the help we received from the coast guard, the hospital administrators and the Red Cross. Any donations that you can offer to help us rebuild our lives and start over is wholeheartedly and grateful appreciated. We will update as we learn more from the Coast Guard and watch events unfold in our lives. Please stop by our BERTIE Facebook page if you want to learn more about who we are and who the majestic Bertie was!! We thank you all for the bottom of our hearts.



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Prince of Whales
05-31-2019, 01:31 PM
Nice work digging a little deeper.

Sorry for their loss, but they live to sail another day!