MAN AND WOMAN CLING FOR THREE HOURS TO THEIR CAP­SIZED BOAT

Daily Mirror (Sri Lanka) - - FEATURES -

A man and a woman spent three hours cling­ing to their cap­sized boat in the At­lantic ocean af­ter set­ting sail for New York City from the Ba­hamas.

The U.S. Coast Guard re­ceived a satel­lite dis­tress sig­nal from the 55-foot ves­sel named Ber­tie on Wed­nes­day night when it was about 65 miles off the coast of At­lantic City in New Jersey.

Peter Bai­ley and Heidi Sny­der had been sail­ing from New York from the Ba­hamas when they en­coun­tered stormy con­di­tions.

They had been sail­ing around the world for the last two years.

Bai­ley and Sny­der said they were hit sud­denly by a ‘white squall’, which is a vi­o­lent wind­storm at sea.

‘We were lit­er­ally swamped and swal­lowed un­der within 60 sec­onds; wa­ter rushed in and we were cat­a­pulted off the boat and into the ocean,’ they wrote on a Gofundme page.

‘We were able to climb up on to the bot­tom of the boat and see if we could dive for the emer­gency epirb de­vice. No luck, it just was not within reach for the breath we had.

‘About 30 min­utes later, the boat started to roll back up, leav­ing the port side with ac­cess, and mirac­u­lously with the epirb in view, we grabbed and ac­ti­vated it.’

The cou­ple said that was the last of­fer­ing that the boat gave them.

‘Peter built Ber­tie with his own hands and poured years of blood, sweat and tears into her be­ing,’ they said.

‘Ev­ery­thing we owned was lost to the sea... our tools of the trade, phones, com­put­ers, pass­ports, im­por­tant doc­u­ments, art­work, pho­tog­ra­phy equip­ment, pho­tos, travel me­men­tos, home stuff... ev­ery­thing. ‘We had lit­er­ally one minute from the time the squall hit un­til we were thrown off the boat.’ Af­ter re­ceiv­ing the dis­tress sig­nal, the Coast Guard launched a he­li­copter from At­lantic City and a plane from North Caro­line. They also launched a Coast Guard ves­sel to help in the res­cue.

A res­cue swim­mer fol­lowed a blink­ing strobe light and found Bai­ley and Sny­der cling­ing to the hull of their cap­sized boat.

The cou­ple were hoisted aboard the he­li­copter be­fore be­ing taken to nearby hospi­tal.

They said they ar­rived at the hospi­tal with ‘noth­ing but our lives and just the clothes on our backs’.

‘We are so very grate­ful that we are alive, sus­tained no in­juries and have fam­ily who we love and love us and that is the most im­por­tant part of this whole story,’ they said.

One of the he­li­copter pi­lots, Lt. An­thony Mon­te­forte, said the res­cue was chal­leng­ing be­cause of the weather con­di­tions.

‘This was an ex­tremely chal­leng­ing hoist due to on-scene con­di­tions, but the en­tire crew came to­gether to work as a team to get the job done,’ he said.

‘I am ex­tremely proud of my crew and all of the other as­sets that aided in this res­cue and thank­ful that the sur­vivors on­board used a cur­rently reg­is­tered EPIRB (Elec­tronic Po­si­tion In­di­cat­ing Ra­dio Bea­con) so that we could quickly lo­cate them.

The U.S. Coast Guard re­ceived a satel­lite dis­tress sig­nal from the 55-foot ves­sel named Ber­tie on Wed­nes­day night when it was about 65 miles off the coast of At­lantic City in New Jersey

Peter Bai­ley and Heidi Sny­der had been sail­ing from New York from the Ba­hamas

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Sri Lanka

© PressReader. All rights reserved.