PORTSMOUTH, Va. - A man sailing alone from Rhode Island to Bermuda was rescued after his 34-foot sailing vessel was disabled in gale force winds approximately 260 miles northwest of Bermuda.
Micheal Smith, 48, a Rhode Island resident and captain of the sailing vessel Wetspot was safetly brought aboard the motor vessel Clipper Eagle, one of two vessels that participated in Smith's Rescue.
The search began early this afternoon when the Coast Guard rescue Coordination Center Norfolk (RCC) recieved an Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon (EPIRB) from the Wetspot. A C-130 airplane from Air Station Elizabeth City, N.C., was launched, upon arriving on scene the C-130 was able to contact Smith via radio and remained in communication with him until his recovery by the Clipper Eagle.
Smith will remain onboard the Clipper Eagle until it's next port of call Port Alfred, Canada.
Amver, sponsored by the Coast Guard, is a unique, computer based, and voluntary global ship reporting system used worldwide by search and rescue authorities to arrange for assistance to persons in distress at sea. With Amver, rescue coordinators can identify participating ships in the area of distress and divert the best-suited ship or ships to respond.
Amver's mission is to quickly provide search and rescue authorities, on demand, accurate information on the postions and characteristics of vessels near a reported distress.
The name Amver is derived from its original incarnation in 1958 as the Atlantic Merchant Vessel Emergency Reporting System.
The Coast Guard strongly encourages boaters to wear life vests and to have a radio onboard their vessels to contact help in case of an emergency.