Coast Guard Rescues Polish Sailor

A Bermuda Coast Guard crew rescued a solo sailor whose boat started to take on water on the high seas.

The Polish skipper of the 36ft ketch SV Hobo Girl was towed to safety by the Coast Guard after he was spotted five nautical miles southeast of the island.

Royal Bermuda Regiment Sergeant Major Jeff Patterson, second-in-command of the Coast Guard, said: “The Bermuda Coast Guard has the ability to conduct search & rescue operations up to 12 nautical miles from shore, dependent on weather conditions.  

“I am pleased that this particular international search operation was resolved successfully. “  

The rescue was carried out  on Tuesday night after Bermuda Radio contacted the Coast Guard and asked them to investigate a vessel close to the island.

The US Coast Guard earlier launched a search for the boat with one of its Hercules aircraft after the captain had texted a friend that the boat was taking on water about 360 nautical miles off Daytona Beach in Florida.  

The Hobo Girl was last sighted by tanker ship Eco Nebula on May 13, when the captain reported he was well and that he was considering heading to Bermuda for repairs.

The US Coast Guard alerted Bermudian authorities that the boat was headed to the island, but continued their own search.

The Bermuda Coast Guard towed the boat into St George’s, where the captain is now quarantined on board for 14 days under Covid-19 regulations while repairs are made.

Sgt Maj. Patterson said the service was pleased to be able to help, but highlighted that the single-handed sailor’s plight was a warning to island boat owners.

He added: “It serves as a reminder for all boat operators in Bermuda to conduct regular maintenance checks on their vessels, ensure that all requisite safety equipment is on board and is in good working order and to file a float plan with Bermuda Radio and a family member or friend who is onshore.”