A bulk carrier headed for the Port of Baltimore saved two people from a sailboat, stranded nearly 350 miles off the East Coast in severe weather conditions.
The sailors sent a GPS distress alert indicating they were in distress 345 miles east of Hatteras Inlet, North Carolina. The sailboat’s engine and sails were inoperable amid heavy seas.
When the U.S. Coast Guard activated the Automated Mutual-Assistance Vessel Rescue System to alert vessels in the area, the 958-foot KSL Santiago answered the call. The crew of the Santiago were able to rescue the two boaters with a ladder from the side of the massive ship.
Coast Guard video shows their terrifying climb to safety. Watch below:
After the sailors made it onto the ship, they continued on to Baltimore with the Santiago. Amazingly, no one was injured.
“This could have gone much differently given the weather conditions, the fact that the boat was disabled and that it was in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean,” says Kelvin Morgan, operational unit controller for the USCG Fifth District command center. “The fact we have partners like the crew and captain of the KSL Santiago allows cases like this to have a happy ending.”
-Meg Walburn Viviano