Coast Guard, Navy rescue pair at sea

68-year-old and 72-year-old were unable to set sail after four-day transit

By Crystal Moyer - Traffic/reporter
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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - The Coast Guard and Navy rescued two family members from a drifting sailboat off the coast of Jacksonville Wednesday.

The two disabled mariners aboard the sailing vessel Vicarious are scheduled to arrive at Morning Star Marina Wednesday morning in Mayport, Fla.

Crewmembers aboard the Coast Guard Cutter Diamondback, an 87-foot Coastal Patrol Boat, were recalled for launch to assist the mariners Tuesday night.

Diamondback crewmembers arrived on scene at 11:33 p.m., Tuesday and were able to affect a tow. The crewmembers aboard the Vicarious were in tow at approximately 1:08 a.m., and are scheduled to rendezvous with a crew aboard a 45-foot Response Boat-Medium from Station Mayport, who will drop them off at the marina between 5:30 and 6 a.m., Wednesday.

Watchstanders in the Coast Guard Sector Jacksonville command center were notified via VHF channel 16 of two mariners drifting aboard the 37-foot sailing vessel Vicarious approximately 10 miles east of the St. Johns River entrance, at 5:33 p.m., Tuesday.

Both mariners, aged 68 and 72, reported they were disabled and unable to set the sails for their vessel due to exhaustion stemming from their four-day transit.

Neither of the mariners reported any injuries. Weather conditions offshore at the time prevented commercial assistance.

Coast Guardsmen from Station Mayport launched aboard a 45-foot Response Boat-Medium at 6 p.m. The crew arrived on scene at 6:55 p.m., and attempted to tow the vessel but couldn't due to on scene weather conditions. A Navy helicopter crew was diverted and arrived on scene at 7:17 p.m.

The helicopter crew offered to assist with communications and potential hoists if necessary. Sector Jacksonville command center personnel also recalled members assigned to the Coast Guard Cutter Diamondback, an 87-foot Coastal Patrol Boat, to launch and assist with towing operations. A second RB-M crew from Station Mayport is on standby to assist if needed.

On scene weather conditions include eight-foot seas and 20 to 25-knot winds.

For more information contact the Coast Guard 7th District Public Affairs Detachment North at 305-318-1864.

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