Significant Maritime Incidents

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Date: 26/06/2022

Friday 17th June, 11:42 am – RCC Norfolk contacts RCC Bermuda regarding the unreported sailing vessel KYKLADES and her 2 crew who had departed Hampton, Virginia on the 8th June bound for the Azores. The vessel was in contact with family members on June 13th advising that they had sustained weather damage at a position 460 miles East of Virginia Beach and that they were returning to Hampton. The yacht failed to send any further messages and was now considered overdue arriving back in port. The U.S Coast Guard working with Rescue Co-ordination Centres in Canada, Bermuda and the Azores commenced Urgent Marine Information Broadcasts. The expansive search area was also overflown on two occasions using aircraft from Air Station Elizabeth City. On June 24th RCC Norfolk reported that communication had been established with KYKLADES in a position 75 miles off of Norfolk, Virginia. Both sailors were reported to be well and the loss of communication is attributed to a lightning strike.


Date: 22/06/2022

Wednesday 22nd June, 00:48 am – The in bound Newport to Bermuda race boat NICOLE contacts Bermuda Radio, to advise that they have fouled their propeller and wanted to anchor offshore to rectify the problem. Winds were favorable to sail into St George's Harbour allowing NICOLE's crew to anchor and clear the propeller before continuing under power safely to Hamilton.


Date: 22/06/2022

Wednesday 22nd June, 8:50 am – The inbound Newport to Bermuda race boat SUNFLOWER advises Bermuda Radio that they are unable to start the engine and have to enter St. George's Harbour under sail. After anchoring and resolving the engine issue they are able to continue under their own power to Hamilton.


Date: 22/06/2022

Wednesday 22nd June, 10:40 am – RCC Bermuda receives a 406 MHz EPIRB alert from the 48 meter ketch MORNING GLORY, a yacht no longer registered in Bermuda but which appears to still have a Bermuda registered EPIRB onboard. RCC Bermuda contacts the yacht's managers ashore and a short while later RCC receives a telephone call from the yacht's captain confirming that they are safe in the Balearic Islands. The beacon will de-activated and re-programmed for the vessel's new flag state of Italy.


Date: 16/06/2022

Thursday 16th June, 11:55am – Bermuda Maritime Operations Centre received a telephone call from a member of public reporting a 33ft Trojan Power Craft that had broken free from its mooring in Ely’s Harbour and was now hard aground on Bethell’s Island. The RBR Coast Guard where tasked and identified the vessel as “R THING”. Further inspection revealed that her hull had not been breached. The owner was promptly contacted and arrangements were made to re-float and re-moor the vessel.


Date: 14/06/2022

Tuesday 14th June, 11:00am – Bermuda Radio receives a VHF radio Digital Selective Call from a man overboard AIS Search and Rescue Transponder located somewhere in Hamilton Harbour. Following broadcasts by Bermuda Radio to vessels in the Hamilton Harbour area to be vigilant for any signs of distress, the RBR Coast Guard were tasked to conduct a visual check of the area. No further reports or alerts were received and the single alert is believed accidental given that there are so many visiting ocean race yachts moored in the harbour who are required to carry such equipment for each member of crew.


Date: 14/06/2022

Tuesday 14th June, 1:00pm – Bermuda Maritime Operations Centre receives a telephone call from the owner of the 37 foot sailing vessel BARE BONES that had departed Bermuda on June 13th bound for Baltimore with 6 POB. The vessel's mast forestay has parted approximately 155 miles WNW of Bermuda requiring the yacht to return to Bermuda for repairs. The owner is requested to have the vessel contact Bermuda Radio directly and subsequently a communications schedule is established every 4 hours. The BARE BONES arrives back in St George's the afternoon of June 15th under her own power with no injuries or further assistance being required.


Date: 10/06/2022

Friday 10th June, 06:09am – Bermuda Maritime Operations Centre receives a telephone call from a merchant vessel located approximately 200nm NNW of Bermuda who has sighted an apparently derelict sailing vessel. Details and photographs sent to RCC Bermuda via email and this information was passed to RCC Norfolk. RCC Norfolk confirms that the vessel appears to be an abandoned sailing vessel which was an old case of theirs from earlier in the year. RCC Bermuda promulgates a Notice to Mariners informing vessels of this hazard to navigation and requesting mariners to report further sightings to RCC Bermuda.


Date: 10/06/2022

Friday 10th June, 6:56am – Bermuda Radio receives a call on VHF radio from a recently departed French sailing vessel with 3 x POB, located approximately 33nm NE of Bermuda which has suffered rudder damage and has limited maneuverability. The vessel returns to St Georges Harbour without assistance to conduct repairs before continuing their voyage to the Azores.


Date: 06/06/2022

Monday 6th June, 6:06am – Bermuda Maritime Operations Centre, received a distress alert from a Swedish registered PLB whose position indicated approximately 35nm West of Bermuda. Bermuda Radio commenced broadcasting a MAYDAY RELAY on Marine VHF radio, and following communication with the RCC located in Sweden, it is established that the PLB is registered to a person, who is thought to be onboard the 42ft US registered sailing vessel BIG SKY. Following VHF radio communication with the sailing vessel in response to the MAYDAY RELAY, it transpires that they set off the PLB due to being disabled and adrift in the severe weather caused by Tropical Storm Alex. The vessels engine had failed, and their main sails were damaged, due to the inclement weather. The wind subsequently pushes BIG SKY closer to Bermuda, and as the weather abates, they manage to rig a foresail and make slow progress towards the Eastern end of the island. After heaving too off St David’s, the following afternoon the vessel is safely towed into St George’s harbour by Bermuda Yachts Service’s. All three persons onboard BIG SKY are reported to be safe and well.


Date: 05/06/2022

Sunday 5th June, 8:19pm – Bermuda Maritime Operations Centre, received an EPIRB distress alert from the 36ft German registered sailing vessel FAULE HAUT, on passage from Fort Lauderdale, Florida with 3 pob. Whose position indicated being in close proximity to Tropic Strom Alex - approximately 250nm West of Bermuda. Following contact with the USCG RCC Norfolk, who assumed coordination of the incident. RCC Bermuda promulgated Distress Search and Rescue messages at RCC Norfolk’s request. It was later confirmed to RCC Bermuda by RCC Norfolk, that the three persons onboard were safely evacuated from the sailing vessel using a USCG helicopter and that the sailing vessel has been abandoned.


Date: 05/06/2022

Sunday 5th June, 9:33pm – Bermuda Maritime Operations Centre received an email from a local shipping agent advising that a recently departed sailing vessel bound for the Azores had reported sighting an overturned 40ft fishing vessel, located around 520nm East of Bermuda. Details of the report and the reporting sailing vessel, where also advised to the USCG RCC Norfolk, they assume SMC due to the incident being within their SRR. It is later confirmed by RCC Norfolk, that a merchant vessel was tasked and diverted to the last known position, of the overturned vessel, and upon locating the vessel, confirmed that there was significant marine growth on her. This indicated being adrift for a long period of time, and no further action was taken.


Date: 31/05/2022

Tuesday 31st May, 8:00am – RCC Bermuda receives an update from MRCC Lisbon regarding the previously reported overdue sailing vessel SO RONG (see incident 23 May) which departed from Bermuda bound for the Azores on April 26th. The vessel has been located safe and is berthed in Flores, Azores. The sailor onboard is reported well after his solo voyage of almost 5 weeks.


Date: 31/05/2022

Tuesday 31st May, 3:40pm – Bermuda Radio overhears VHF radio communication between sailing vessel MIS AMORES and LNG tanker COOL RUNNER which had just departed Bermuda after completing a crew transfer. The MIS AMORES is 50 miles Southwest of Bermuda beyond VHF radio range and appears to be requesting 100 liters of fuel, weather information and directions to Bermuda as they do not have charts. COOL RUNNER relays to Bermuda Radio that they are unable to assist with fuel but have given the 4 Swiss nationals onboard the 47 foot yacht a course to steer to safely approach the island under sail as their GPS is not working, as well as instructions to contact Bermuda Radio when closer to the island. With only a VHF handheld radio operational onboard, communications are difficult, but the vessel is guided safely into St George’s Harbour on Wednesday morning June 1st.