Significant Maritime Incidents

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Date: 19/07/2024

Friday 19th July, 2:40 pm – RCC Bermuda received a 406 MHz EPIRB alert from a position approximately 30 miles southeast of Bermuda, the beacon was French registered. A Mayday relay was broadcast and the container ship SOMERS ISLES which was passing Gibbs Hill Light House was diverted to the distress location, eta approximately 3 hours. RCC Bermuda liaised with search and rescue authorities in France and the United States coast Guard, the EPIRB was found to be programmed for the French 26 ft sailing vessel AKORY, the EPIRB had previously been activated on the 14th July, this alert was investigated by the United States Coast Guard who found a solo sailor onboard, no assistance was required on that occasion. RCC Bermuda contacted the visiting Sportsfishing vessel MAMA SEATA which was off South Shore, the crew kindly agreed to proceed to the distress position and investigate, at approximately 4:30 pm the Sportsfishing vessel has rendezvoused with the distressed yacht and found the single handed sailor wanted to abandon the vessel, the skipper was taken onboard MAMA SEATA and taken back to Bermuda, the yacht remained adrift.


Date: 02/07/2024

Tuesday 2nd July, 11:00 am – The Newport Bermuda Race competitor ELUSIVE which departed Bermuda on the 30th June contacted the United States Coast guard as a line had fouled the propeller and 2 of the 5 people onboard wanted to get off the vessel. RCC Bermuda coordinated with RCC Norfolk and the Newport race committee and a container ship was diverted to the scene, a transfer between the yacht and a ship was considered to dangerous. The two crew wishing to get off ELUSIVE due to the disabled engine later transferred to Newport Bermuda Return race boat YANKEE GIRL which had been standing by the disabled yacht.


Date: 28/06/2024

Friday 28th June, 4:43 pm – A member of the public called Bermuda Radio as a centre console vessel belonging to them was missing from it’s mooring in Foot of the Lane, the mooring appeared to be in good condition and the caller was concerned that the boat may have been stolen. After further details were taken by the Duty Officer it became apparent that the description fitted a boat that had been found drifting in Hamilton Harbour a few days earlier, the boat had been secured by the department of Marine and Ports. The registration numbers matched and the vessel was recovered by the owner.


Date: 28/06/2024

Friday 28th June, 9:00 pm – The Newport Bermuda Race competitor PAPILLION contacted Bermuda Radio by satellite phone, the 61 ft sloop with 5 people onboard had departed Bermuda earlier in the day and was now returning to Bermuda as the fuel had been contaminated with water. Winds were light and it took approximately 24 hrs to sail back to Bermuda, a commercial tow had been arranged and on arrival at the Sea Buoy, the Bermuda Yacht Services work boat LINE 1towed the disabled vessel back into St Georges Harbour for repairs.


Date: 25/06/2024

Tuesday 25th June 2:00 am – The Newport to Bermuda Race control call advising that the race competitor LAPIN has grounded off of St David's Head west of the race finish line. RCC Bermuda was able to establish VHF radio communication with the yacht which reports being hard aground and that her rudder has sheared off resulting in the yacht taking on water. A tow was urgently required before the yacht's hull was also holed on the reef and her crew and the entire vessel further endangered. Despite attempts by RCC Bermuda to secure a local marine contractor for a tow, no assistance was readily available such that a Royal Bermuda Regiment Coast Guard vessel was tasked from Boaz Island to assist the 46 foot sloop and her 10 person crew. Once on scene 30 minutes later, RESCUE-1 is able to take LAPIN in tow for St George's Harbour where she is put alongside Pennos Wharf with de-watering pumps running and her crew are able to stabilise the water ingress using a sail stuffed through the rudder shaft. Water ingress was monitored overnight and through the next day whereupon the yacht was towed to Spar Yard at Dockyard where she was lifted out of the water for repairs. Further investigation by BMOC revealed that the yacht suffered a failure of all electronics and was attempting to finish the race without good position or chart information - plus the finish line buoy lights were extinguished - so they lost situational awareness leading to their grounding in the dark.


Date: 25/06/2024

Tuesday 25th June, 9:45 am – Newport to Bermuda Race Control contacts RCC Bermuda following a report that the race competitor GUNGA DIN, a 40 foot sloop with 7 POB, is taking on water in a position around 90 miles to the Northeast of Bermuda. RCC Bermuda was able to contact the GUNGA DIN by satellite phone. The rate of water ingress was causing concern and may result in them abandoning the vessel. The cause of water ingress was initially unknown, but is later thought to be from structural damage to the vessel's hull midships around the mast base. The closest race competitor to GUNGA DIN was the sailing yacht DESNA which arranged to rendezvous with GUNGA DIN in case abandoning became necessary. At around noon the 7 crew abandoned to the 37 foot sloop DESNA via a life raft and GUNGA DIN was left adrift. The DESNA with a total of 14 POB arrived in Bermuda without further incident around Wednesday lunchtime.


Date: 24/06/2024

Monday 24th June, 6:00 am – The U.S.A registered 70 ft Sloop PYEWACKET was the first of the Newport Bermuda race yachts to cross the finish line. After the race was complete the yacht entered St Georges Harbour in order to disembark a sick crew member to an ambulance waiting at Hunters Wharf, the winning yacht continued on to Royal Bermuda Yacht Club in Hamilton Harbour.


Date: 24/06/2024

Monday 24th June, 8 pm – Many complaints were received during the day regarding Sportfishing vessels operating too fast in the vicinity of Dockyard. Many tour / charter boat operators were concerned injuries could be caused by the dangerous wake. This is a perennial problem early in the Sportfishing season and Bermuda Coast Guard intend to make regular patrols to enforce the no wake zones, Bermuda Radio issued a Local Navigational warning to highlight the issue of dangerous wake.