After 39 days at sea Maritime Explorer Dom Mee has initiated his emergency rescue plan after the combined effects of Hurricanes Katrina, Maria, Natal & Rita overwhelmed his boats systems and he suffered a prolonged loss of outbound communication coupled with extreme storm conditions.
Sunday 25th September Project Manager Adrian Wibrew received a call from Falmouth Coast Guard’s duty watch keeper informing him that ‘Little Murka’s’ EPIRB (Emergency position indicating radio beacon) had been activated; indicating that Dom was in grave and imminent danger.
Falmouth Coast Guard had been contacted by JRCC (Joint Rescue Co-ordination Centre) Halifax advising them of the activation and seeking further information about the vessel and the number of crew at risk. At that time JRCC Halifax broadcasted a ‘Maritime Assistance Request’ to all shipping in the area for assistance.
JRCC’s staff is responsible for the collation and distribution of essential information concerning a distress situation. They arrange the dispatch of rescue assets and personnel to ships and aircraft in distress and co-ordinate these efforts of all responding resources.
Adrian made contact with JRCC’s duty watch keeper and answered his questions about the last known status of Dom, his vessel ‘Little Murka’ and the emergency equipment on board. They confirmed the deployment of their search and rescue aircraft; “Rescue 313” which was tracking ‘Little Murka’s’ EPIRB GPS signal.
In turn Dom’s PLB (Personal Locater Beacon) had also been activated suggesting that Dom had been forced from his vessel highlighting the need for urgent rescue.
The duty watch keeper at Halifax informed Adrian that the adverse sea state and storm conditions were less than perfect for a rescue attempt.
“Dom is in the worst possible place he could be in the North Atlantic; it could take some time to get to him. He is in a massive storm with 50-60 knot winds and experiencing mountainous swell… however we will do our best”.
It took some time for ‘Rescue 313’ a Hercules aircraft to locate “Little Murka”, however there was no sign of Dom. After circling for some time mindful of the adverse conditions; unable to get closer than 50 feet without risk to Dom and his boat, Dom emerged from his cabin.
Having identified that Dom was aboard and on deck the crew dropped an emergency assistance package; including life raft, food, water and radios. Dom fought to secure these and subsequently contacted the rescue team.
Over night bulk container ship BERGE NORD has responded to the “Maritime assistance request” and made its way to Dom’s co-ordinates. In turn ‘Rescue 313’ has been replaced by the aircraft ‘Rescue 116’ and the Canadian Coastguard Vessel CYGNUS is on route to assist it is expected to reach the location at 10:00 today.
For minute by minute information please visit the BLOG which will be updated as soon as we receive more information.