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SV Corfu

MAYDAY - May 11, 2006

On Thursday May 11, 2006, at approximately 12:21z (08:21EDT) SV Corfu called MAYDAY on 14.300. Corfu was not an amateur radio station.

At this time the net control for the Intercon Net was Bernie NP2CB. Together with Palmer AA3TQ in Maryland, the vessel position was confirmed to be 11-37.0N x 025-32.0W. The vessel reported that they had lost their rudder and needed assistance. There were no injuries and they were in no danger of sinking. They also reported that there were a total of three persons onboard.

The United States Coast Guard was contacted in Miami, FL and the incident reported. Due to the vessels position, it was decided by the USCG to notify Rescue Co-ordination Center (RCC) Las Palmas, Canary Islands and they would relay the information to RCC Madrid, Spain. Further information was that RCC Dakar, in West Africa, was alerted. The USCG did not deploy any assets.

The radio operator on Corfu was a female identified only as Gabriella. She spoke broken English but was better in Spanish and/or French. She said that the Capt. was Eric and there was no identification on the third person. She described Corfu as being a 15 meter Ketch.

The net was assisted by Fred W3ZU who spoke in Spanish with the vessel and gathered information to be passed onto the USCG.

In the mid afternoon, approximately 2:30pm EDT, the vessel called into the net again for an update. At this time she gave her position as 11-37.0N x 052-32.0W or approximately 450 miles NE off the coast of Guyana. This position necessitated reshuffling the assets that were already in motion and the USCG was advised. The USCG was patched to the vessel through W3ZU and spoke directly with Gabriella.

At approximately 4pm EDT, the USCG advised that they had contacted a nearby US tanker, MV Sheila Dewit. The tanker was changing course to intercept the Corfu and render assistance. The tanker estimated approximately 5 hours to get to the Corfu's position. The Corfu was advised to monitor VHF 16 and to turn on as many lights as they could.

The net was advised by the USCG in the morning of May 12, 2006, that the Sheila Dewit had met with the Corfu and effected repairs to the rudder. The Corfu was now enroute to Cayenne, French Guyana.