Coast Guard Rescues 2 from Capsized Ship Off the Coast of Atlantic City

The crew of Coast Guard Cutter Lawrence Lawson, a 154-foot fast response cutter homeported in Cape May, New Jersey, approaches a capsized 55-foot wooden sailboat about 65 miles east of Atlantic City, New Jersey, May 29, 2019. An aircrew from Coast Guard Air Station Elizabeth City, North Carolina, rescued two mariners, who they found clinging to the capsized boat’s hull. (U.S. Coast Guard photo courtesy, Cutter Lawrence Lawson)

ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. – Coast Guard crews rescued a man and woman from a capsized sailboat about 65 miles east of Atlantic City on Wednesday, May 29th.

The Coast Guard’s Fifth District Command Center in Portsmouth, Virginia, was notified by the ships Electronic Position Indicating Radio Beacon (EPIRB) that the vessel was in distress.

The people on the ship had been sailing around the world for the past few years on the Bertie, a 55-foot wooden-hull sailboat. They were on their last leg of the trip sailing from the Bahamas to New York City.

Coast Guard watchstanders directed Coast Guard Cutter Lawrence Lawson, an Air Station Atlantic City MH-65 Dolphin helicopter crew and an Air Station Elizabeth City HC-130 Hercules airplane crew to the EPIRB’s location, where the sailboat was found capsized.

“When our helicopter arrived on-scene, the crew followed a blinking strobe light and discovered a man and a woman clinging to the hull of their capsized sailboat,” Lt. Tyler Bittner, the operations duty officer in Atlantic City said.

Both mariners were hoisted aboard the MH-65 Dolphin helicopter and brought back to Air Station Atlantic City, where they were met by awaiting EMS.

“This was an extremely challenging hoist due to on-scene conditions, but the entire crew came together to work as a team to get the job done,” Lt. Anthony Monteforte, one of the helicopter pilots on the case said. “I am extremely proud of my crew and all of the other assets that aided in this rescue and thankful that the survivors onboard used a currently registered EPIRB so that we could quickly locate them.”