Etel’s Regional Operational Monitoring and Rescue Center (CROSS) received the signal of a 406MHz Cospas Sarsat distress beacon.
The CROSS Gris-Nez quickly confirms that it is the signal of the distress beacon of the “Stolvezen”, a 13m long sailboat, registered in Marennes d’Oléron and lying at 270 Nq (500 Km) off La Rochelle and 130 Nq (240Km) west of A Coruña.
The Etel CROSS immediately issues “MAYDAY RELAY” messages and then seeks the assistance of commercial vessels and / or air assets that may be in the area in cooperation with the French Customs Administration and the MRCC Madrid.
In parallel, research carried out on land by the National Gendarmerie confirm that this sailboat sailed Monday, February 5 from La Rochelle to the French West Indies with five people on board.
The Etel CROSS then engages the Spanish Coast Guard “PASCO 2” helicopter based in Viveiro and the “Navy Falcon 50” maritime surveillance aircraft based in Lorient.
At 12:00, the air assets entered arrive on the zone, the Falcon 50 ensuring the relay of the connections between the CROSS, the MRCC Madrid and the sailboat.
The sailboat being neither maneuvering because of the damage of its saffron nor towable considering its geographical remoteness and very difficult meteorological conditions on zone, decision is taken to evacuate the crew.
The five people, are in good health, and were hoisted by helicopter “Pasco 2” and supported at 14:01 on the Viveiro base.
The ship is drifting, an urgent notice to mariners (AVURNAV) is issued by the Maritime Prefecture of the Atlantic.
Source: Maritime Perfect