Crew Recovered After Wave Damages Vessel

January 19, 2017

[Updated] Early this morning the 75ft vessel ‘Ninah’ was damaged after being struck by a wave approximately 250 miles southwest of Bermuda, and the six crew onboard — which include Bermudians — declared a Mayday and indicated their intention to abandon the vessel.

The merchant vessel ‘Hercules Leader’ arrived on scene and all crew were successfully recovered, and the ‘Hercules Leader’ is currently inbound to Bermuda, and is expected to arrive early tomorrow morning with the crew.

A Bermuda Maritime Operations Center spokesperson said, “At 7:20am, Thursday 19th January, the Rescue Coordination Centre in Bermuda [RCC Bermuda] was contacted by the U.S. Coastguard [Norfolk, Virginia], reporting that an Emergency signal was received from a 406 MHz PLB [Personal Locator Beacon], approximately 250 miles southwest of Bermuda.

“Following further investigation, RCC Bermuda managed to trace beacon to a local owner who confirmed that the 75ft catamaran ‘Ninah’, had been struck by a rogue wave early this morning, suffering damage to vessel steering and failure of one engine.

“S/v Ninah had departed Stewart, Florida, on Sunday, with six crew onboard [four Bermudians], with owner now unsure if crew had declared a ‘Mayday’ and wished to abandon vessel.

“A few minutes later [07:34], RCC Bermuda received a call from S/v Ninah confirming vessel damage due to a rogue wave and subsequent activation of 406 MHz Emergency beacons onboard. The crew declared a Mayday, indicating their intention to abandon vessel.

“At 07:38, a U.S. Coastguard C-130 fixed wing aircraft was deployed to the Distress position while merchant vessel ‘Hercules Leader’ was also tasked to assist, indicating arrival on scene around noon time.

“Communications continued via Satellite between RCC Bermuda, RCC Norfolk and sailing vessel ‘Ninah’ in preparation for merchant vessel arrival, and plan for crew to abandon to a life-raft and subsequent recovery by merchant vessel.

“At 1:58pm, all crew were successfully recovered by ‘Hercules Leader’ which is currently inbound to Bermuda to disembark survivors, arriving early tomorrow morning [daylight].”

Update 10.12pm: The U.S. Coast Guard said, “Watchstanders with the 5th Coast Guard District in Portsmouth coordinated the rescue of six sailors from a catamaran approximately 275 miles southwest of Bermuda, Thursday.

“The watchstanders received an emergency position indicating radio beacon alert and notification from the Rescue Coordination Center in Bermuda that the 75-foot catamaran Ninah, with six people aboard, had reportedly been struck by a rogue wave early this morning and was taking on water.

“The watchstanders directed the launch of an airplane crew, from Coast Guard Air Station Elizabeth City, N.C., and diverted the crew of the motor vessel Hercules Leader, an Automated Mutual-Assistance Vessel Rescue System (AMVER), to the catamaran’s location.

“The six sailors abandoned their sinking vessel and were rescued from their life raft by the crew of the Hercules Leader. The sailors will be taken to Bermuda.”

“The crew of the Ninah were well prepared for their voyage and had a plethora of safety and emergency equipment aboard their vessel,” said Brian Neilan, an operations unit leader with the 5th District command center.

“Their preparation, along with the invaluable assistance from the crew of the AMVER vessel Hercules Leader, contributed to their rescue today.”

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Comments (6)

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  1. skinnydipper says:

    So glad my boy is safe……

  2. Real Deal says:

    Glad everyone is well. but dam a 75 foot cat… how big was that cross wind wave to take her down in one go like that?

  3. Point boy says:

    I’m glad there is no politics on the ocean

  4. Sounds lke a book and or a movie… i would love to hear the narrative… in any case the story should be told.
    I heard a sailor describe his pitchpoling in a venus hull, now the venus was slow but built like a tank broken arm, a muckushin… annah broken mast he was by himself but managed to jury rig a boom sail using rop and block and tackle.

  5. Yikes! says:

    Is the boat on the bottom?

  6. Real Deal says:

    Probably not however there there is no way to steer it. I am sure they tried everything they could.