Coast Guard coordinates rescue of three people from sailboat off Virginia Beach

Posted at 1:32 PM, May 23, 2014
and last updated 2014-05-23 13:32:50-04

Portsmouth, Va. — The Coast Guard coordinated the rescue of three people Thursday who were rescued by good Samaritans after their sailboat was beset by storms approximately 350 miles east of Virginia Beach.

60-year-old Larry Monesson, 40-year-old Sean Monesoon, and and 40-year-old James Moore were rescued.

The father of James Moore contacted the Coast Guard at approximately 1 a.m. Thursday after he received a message via satellite phone from his son.  The message stated the crew of the 41-foot sailboat the Elusive were experiencing high winds, 25-foot ocean swells and engine failure, but were attempting to repair the engine and not requesting assistance at the time.

Coast Guard watchstanders established a communication watch with the crew of the Elusive.  The watchstanders also conducted a search for the closest automated mutual-assistance vessel rescue (AMVER) ships to the distress and conducted an enhanced group call (EGC), a broadcast service using the Inmarsat communication system, asking for possible assistance from ships in the area.

The crew aboard the Bow Clipper, a 600-foot Norwegian flagged tanker, responded to the Coast Guard’s EGC broadcast and contacted the crew of the Elusive via VHF radio.

At approximately 5 p.m., a crewman aboard the Elusive contacted the Coast Guard and informed them the situation had worsened, and the crew intended to abandon ship and transfer to the Bow Clipper.

The two crews coordinated the rescue and at approximately 7:15 all three people were reported safe aboard the Bow Clipper.

“The early communications by the crew of the Elusive and the proactive response by the crew of the Bow Clipper allowed the watchstanders to arrange for the Bow Clipper to be in position to effect an immediate rescue when the situation aboard the sailing vessel Elusive deteriorated,” said Lt. Cmdr. Tim Eason, the 5th District’s search and rescue mission coordinator. “Additionally, the crew of the Elusive took the proper precautions before departing port by ensuring they had a working satellite phone and personal locator beacons.”

The Bow Clipper’s next port of call will be Wilmington, North Carolina.

There are no reports of injuries.