Coast Guard coordinates rescue of 6 from sinking catamaran near Bermuda

PORTSMOUTH, Va. (WAVY) — Coast Guard crews coordinated the rescue of six people from a catamaran about 275 miles southwest of Bermuda Thursday.

Watchstanders with the 5th Coast Guard District in Portsmouth received an emergency position indicating a radio beacon alert from the Rescue Coordination Center in Bermuda that the catamaran Ninah was hit by a rogue wave early Thursday morning and was taking on water.

The watchstanders directed an airplane crew from Coast Guard Air Station Elizabeth City and diverted the crew of the motor vessel Hercules Leader, an automated mutual-assistance vessel rescue system, to the catamaran’s location.

The six people on the catamaran abandoned their sinking boat and were rescued from their life raft by the Hercules Leader crew.

“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.”