The timber carrier Falcon Arrow and the Ro-Ro Cronus Leader, both members of the Automated Mutual Assistance Vessel Rescue System (Amver), assisted the U.S. Coast Guard rescue 12 seafarers who abandoned their sinking 212-foot cargo ship Minouche beset by heavy weather from Hurricane Joaquin October 1 after their ship began taking on water 51 miles north of Haiti.
The Bolivian-flagged Minouche activated their Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon (EPIRB) after it began taking on water.
“We’ve lost engines, are listing 30 degrees to port and had two cargo booms break loose…,” the crew reported in an email to rescue authorities.
Coast Guard authorities in Miami launched a rescue helicopter and diverted the Coast Guard Cutter Northland, along with querying the Amver system and diverting the Falcon Arrow and the Cronus Leader.
The two Amver ships arrived on scene and battled 30-knot winds and waves greater than 15 feet to provide a lee for the 12 crewmen in a life raft while the helicopter began hoisting the survivors and transporting them to shore. All 12 mariners were safely rescued and transported by helicopter to the Bahamas.
The Cronus Leader, managed by NYK Lines, enrolled in Amver on November 30, 2008 and earned six Amver participation awards. The Falcon Arrow, a general cargo ship managed by GearBulk, enrolled in Amver on January 1, 1987 and has earned 25 Amver participation awards.