Emergency rescue: It takes a village

Published on June 4th, 2019

With an array of electronic support that surrounds us, we are rarely far from help when trouble confronts us. However, there still are some very remote places on earth, and that’s where the crew of the Elliott 50 Ran Tan II found themselves when their boat was failing underneath them.

In transit from New Zealand to the USA for the Transpac Race, the crew activated their EPIRB and transmitted a DSC HF radio distress call on May 30th. With the keel falling off the boat, their call triggered a sequence of events that led to their successful rescue thanks to the efforts of the Mexican fishing industry.

Headquartered in Mazatlán, the Pinsa Group has 20 active tuna ships in the Eastern Pacific Ocean, and when they aren’t pulling in their annual haul of 75,000 tons of Tuna, they are fulfilling a fundamental rule of international law to rescue persons in distress at sea.

Here’s their report:

It was 1:10 am when the Azteca 5 received the US Coast Guard´s call from Honolulu announcing that a sailboat with destiny to Los Angeles sent an emergency call, because the sailboat split in half and was beginning to sink, leaving the three passengers in the middle of the ocean in a life raft.

Ran Tan II

The Pinsa Group responded to the emergency call, stopping their fishing labor because it was a long journey to get where the shipwrecks were. After 13 hours of travel, using its helicopter and speed boats to make the searching, the Azteca 5 found the three people located east of Hawaii, 1,700 miles from the nearest coast.

On May 31, the crew of the fishing boat took the shipwrecked on board and was able to offer first aid and do a medical check-up, reporting them in good health after having spent long hours in a raft in the middle of nowhere.

The shipwrecked sailors were transferred to the Azteca 10, another vessel of the same company, who are taking them to Mazatlán port on the afternoon of June 4, where they will be able to complete the corresponding procedures to return to their country.

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