Honolulu. Sailing yacht Mureadrittas XL rammed by a whale and sunk Print E-mail
Wednesday, 26 July 2006
Marian Martin

Yesterday, Coast Guard aircrews continued to circle over four people in a life raft, about 450 miles north of the Big Island. A Coast Guard C-130 Hercules and crew, from Air Station Barbers Point, monitored the distressed mariners who were forced to abandon the 40 foot sailing vessel Mureadrittas XL yesterday morning at approximately 9 a.m.

The master of the vessel reported to the Coast Guard in Honolulu at 9:45 a.m. that his vessel had collided with what he presumed to be whales. The master reported no injuries to himself or the crew, but that the vessel was greatly damaged.

A C-130 airplane and crew were on scene with the Mureadrittas XL at about 11 a.m. and remained on scene until relieved by a second aircraft and crew. A third crew returned later.

The Coast Guard sent out a request for any Good Samaritans in the area to aid the distressed mariners. The cargo vessel Maersk Darwin, en route China, was about 90 miles away when the Coast Guard requested assistance and that vessel arrived at the scene, last night, to rescue the survivors. They were later transferred to the fishing vessel Cammie M, to be transported to Honolulu.

The Coast Guard greatly appreciates Good Samaritans, such as the crews of the Maersk Darwin and Cammie M, for assisting in the rescue of fellow mariners. Along with the three C-130 aircrews, Coast Guard rescue personnel are currently engaged in various locations, throughout the Pacific Ocean, conducting a variety of missions and Good Samaritans help in variety of ways. For example, the Coast Guard Cutter Walnut experienced a mechanical failure off the Big Island Sunday evening and required assistance. Available Coast Guard assets did not have the towing capability to safely tow the 2,000-ton-Walnut to Honolulu, so the Coast Guard contracted with Young Brothers. The tug Pacific Master currently has the Walnut in tow and both vessels are expected to arrive safely into Honolulu Harbor this evening.

The crew of the Mureadrittas XL believe that they were rammed by a female whale, after they had inadvertently got between mother and calf. The son of one of those on board has posted an account, from mobile phone communications, on the Sailing Anarchy forum. Read His account. as it unfolded.
Last Updated ( Wednesday, 26 July 2006 )
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