USCG rescue crew as hurricane threatens disabled ship

Malcolm Latarche
Malcolm Latarche

11 October 2018


Crew from a cargo ship drifting in the path of hurricane Leslie are due to arrive in Peurto Rico tomorrow after being rescued by a USCG cutter. The USCG cutter Confidencetook on the 10 crewmembers who were stranded on the disabled cargo ship for almost 20 days approximately 1,380 miles southeast of Bermuda.

"We were conducting a law enforcement patrol near Puerto Rico when we were assigned to assist the crew of the motor vessel Alta,” said Cmdr. Travis Emge, the commanding officer of the Confidence. “We travelled over 1,300 nautical miles to get to the disabled ship ahead of Hurricane Leslie's forecasted track and brought the 10 crewmembers aboard. We are all proud of our part in this coordinated Coast Guard response to rescue this crew.”

The Coast Guard was notified Sept. 30 that the 250-foot Tanzanian-flagged cargo ship, Alta, became disabled eleven days earlier while transiting from Greece to Haiti, and were unable to make repairs. The crew reported that they had enough food for two days and water for 15 days, and that there were no injuries or immediate medical concerns.

An aircrew on an HC-130 Hercules airplane from Coast Guard Air Station Elizabeth City dropped about a week's worth of food to the crew on 2 October helping sustain the men until help could arrive. The Confidence is taking the 10 men to Puerto Rico and is scheduled to arrive there Friday.

The Coast Guard's Fifth District command center has been working to coordinate with the ship owner for a commercial tug to tow the vessel to shore.