Search and rescue teams that were appointed by the U.S. Coast Guard have managed to successfully rescue nine seafarers from the Canadian Liana’s Ransom tall ship at about 58 miles east of Gloucester, Massachusetts. The rescue operation was carried out on Monday and the crews were deployed from respectively Air Station Cape Cod, Station Gloucester and the Coast Guard Cutter Ocracoke.
At 12:35 watchstanders were notified that the ship was experiencing some serious issues – the engines had been disabled and the sails were wrapped around the vessel’s mast.
At the time weather conditions were getting unbearable and some waves were reaching almost 10 feet of height. Sector Boston decided to appoint two motor lifeboat crews from Station Gloucester. The 47-foot lifeboats were tasked with towing the ship back to Gloucester. When they arrived at the vessel’s location the respective rescue teams were able to initially connect the tow, but due to the harsh sea conditions the tow line broke soon after.
The salvage squads then instructed the crew members aboard the vessel to put on their immersion suits and to make all necessary preparations for abandoning Liana’s Ransom. At the time the ship was about 30 miles east of Gloucester.
The Coast Guard sent out a MH-60 Jayhawk Helicopter from Air Station Cape Cod to assist the salvage teams in their effort to rescue the seamen.
All of the 9-man crew were transferred from the vessel to the lifeboats. Unfortunately, one of the seafarers, when leaping from Liana’s Ransom, suffered a head injury and was then picked up by the Jayhawk helicopter crew and transported to the Massachusetts General Hospital.
The other eight crew members were safely taken to Station Gloucester. Before leaving they managed to leave a locator beacon aboard Liana’s Ransom for tracking purposes. Coast Guard Cutter Ocracoke has been sent to the vessel’s location in order to evaluate a possible scenario of towing the ship back to port.
“The owner of the vessel was able to contact us as quickly as possible and so we were able to immediately react and save the crew,” commented Jay Woodhead, Sector Boston Command Center command duty officer.
He further added with regard to the weather conditions at the time, with winds reaching a speed of up to 30 knots, that it was getting extremely unsafe for the crew to remain aboard the vessel.