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Multiple Rescues

An American couple was rescued approximately seven miles offshore from Key Largo last Friday evening after having fallen off their 30-ft fishing boat Fishhawk while it was traveling at high speed. Only because a flock of sea birds swarmed above them, Sean McGovern, 50, and Mellisa Morris, 52, were spotted by local fishermen after having trod water for some 14 hours. 

"We originally thought they were fish," said one of the four fishermen, Broward County Sheriff’s Detective James White. "We got up close, and once we realized that they were in trouble, we brought them on board."

McGovern and Morris, who were not wearing life jackets, were mildly hypothermic, had been suffering from cramps, and had been stung by jellyfish. They are expected to make full recoveries. Amazingly enough, the boat ended up Saturday afternoon on the beach near a Fort Lauderdale resort, more than 60 miles from Key Largo.

Meanwhile, closer to home, four rowers participating in the Great Pacific Race from Monterey, CA to Honolulu, HI were also rescued Friday when their rowboat began taking on water at about 9 p.m. 

“From our conversations with the members of Team Pacific Rowers we understand that Britannia 4 had been gradually taking on more and more water and that despite the crews’ attempt to stem the ingress, the water level became insurmountable and an evacuation was deemed necessary," says Race Director Chris Martin.

"The weather conditions on scene were windy with choppy seas: wind at around 23 – 31 knots with waves of 15-20 feet. Britannia 4 has a number of 406MHz Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacons (EPIRBs) on board, one of which was activated to allow an accurate position update."

A US Coast Guard helicopter arrived on scene at 1:30 a.m. Saturday and hoisted the rowers to safety. Their rowboat was lost. The video below shows the rescue via the Coast Guard’s helicopter. 



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Why row when you can sail? Being a handy fellow, John Chille (left) quickly fashioned this reefable sail for two weary paddlers.
Exactly one year after leaving Southern California aboard his Los Angeles-based Salt Peter, singlehander Peter Rudiger has lost his sailboat to Komakame Reef, which is three miles to the southeast of the southernmost landmass of New Caledonia, about 40 miles from Noumea.