MARITIME CASUALTY - WHAT WENT WRONG AND WHY

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51ft Sailing boat disabled, three saved

Coast Guard air and boat crews worked together to assist three people and a dog aboard a 51-foot sailing vessel that was disabled and adrift about 45 miles west of Siuslaw River, Wednesday.

The crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Cuttyhunk, a 110-foot patrol boat homeported in Port Angeles, Wash., is towing the sailing vessel Rogue Scholarship toward Reedsport and will transfer the tow to the crew of a 47-foot motor life boat from Station Umpqua River.

Watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector North Bend initially received an uncorrelated distress call at 9:30 a.m. Forty five minutes later, watchstanders received a digital selected call distress notification with a location about three miles west of the observed location of the first notification. Aircrews launched aboard two MH-65 Dolphin helicopters from Air Station North Bend and Air Facility Newport, a boatcrew launched from Station Siuslaw River aboard an MLB, the crew of the Cuttyhunk diverted from patrolling nearby and a C-27J medium range surveillance aircraft from Air Station Sacramento to search for possible mariners in distress.

The master of the vessel was able to contact the C-27J aircrew and reported that all three people on board were in good condition, but the vessel had a torn sail, fouled propeller and had been adrift for three days. A Dolphin aircrew arrived on scene and deployed a rescue swimmer with a VHF-FM radio. The crew of the Cuttyhunk arrived on scene and placed the sailboat in tow and is expected to arrive near Reedsport at about 9 p.m.

Weather on scene was reported to be 4-to-6 foot seas with 10-to-15 knot winds and a water temperature of 57 degrees.

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