The United States Coast Guard has resumed search for four sailors 1,000 miles (1,600 kilometers) east of Cape Cod, Massachusetts, Tuesday.
Watchstanders from the 1st Coast Guard District command center in Boston were notified at approximately 12:30 a.m., Friday, of two 406MHz personal locator beacons registered to the 39-foot U.K.-flagged sailing vessel Cheeki Rafiki.
The Cheeki Rafiki’s agent in the U.K. also told the U.S. Coast Guard the last message they received from the crew stated they were taking on water with four people on board.
The search for the missing sailors is being conducted by:
- a U.S. Coast Guard HC-130 Hercules aircraft from Air Station Elizabeth City, North Carolina
- a 106th Rescue Wing U.S. Air National Guard crew from Gabranski, New York
- a Canadian military C-130 aircraft
- the 600-foot motor vessel Bow Flora
- the 672-foot motor vessel Premium Do Brasil
- the 477-foot motor vessel Chem Venus
- the 700-foot motor vessel Amapola
Air crews have searched a total of 2,878 square miles since the search has resumed. The square mileage for ship searches is still being determined.
Weather on scene is six-foot seas with winds at less than 10 knots.
En route are the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Vigorous, a U.S. Air Force C-130 aircraft from Moody Air Force Base in Valdosta, Georgia, along with two motor vessels, AM Hamburg and Independent Accord.
“It is extremely challenging to respond to a distress case so far off shore, which is why it takes a joint effort with our international partners to put forward an effective search,” said Capt. Anthony Popiel, 1st Coast Guard District Chief of Response on Friday. “We are especially grateful to have the merchant vessel assistance with the surface search given the inclement weather.”
Press Release, May 21, 2014, Image: USCG