REPORT FROM THE US COAST GUARD IN HAWAII – A distressed mariner, whose 60-foot long sailing vessel was dismasted approximately 85 miles northwest of Palmyra Atoll, has been rescued Tuesday.
James Blackford was rescued by the crew of the motor vessel Global Explorer, a vessel registered with the Automated Mutual Assistance Vessel Rescue System.
Blackford was reportedly in good condition with no medical concerns. His vessel, the Makalii, was left behind and adrift. Watchstanders in Joint Rescue Coordination Center Honolulu will put out an advisory to mariners informing them of the adrift vessel in the area. The crew of the Global Explorer is scheduled to take Blackford to their next port of call in Japan.
The Global Explorer crew arrived on scene at approximately 12 a.m. Tuesday, but could not conduct the rescue due to severe weather conditions. At approximately 9 a.m. they were able to safely conduct the rescue and bring Blackford aboard the Global Explorer.
Watchstanders were first notified of Blackford’s situation when they received a Personal Locator Beacon alert from the sailing vessel Makalii at 8 p.m. Sunday.
An HC-130 Hercules airplane crew from Coast Guard Air Station Barbers Point was launched at 10 p.m. Sunday to locate the vessel after attempts to contact it were unsuccessful.
The aircrew located the dismasted sailboat at 2:30 a.m. Monday. Blackford reported the vessel had been taking on water when his vessel was dismasted and later reported the flooding stopped.
The aircrew dropped a radio and a Self-Locating Datum Marker Buoy. It was reported that Blackford had food and water aboard.