Video: AHTS Tor Viking Rescues Mariner and Cat Off Alaska

By Accidents

The icebreaking AHTS Tor Viking on Tuesday (Oct 20) came to the rescue of a distressed mariner and his cat onboard their disabled 30-foot sailboat approximately 400 miles south of Cold Bay, Alaska.

A dramatic video of the rescue was captured by a Coast Guard C-130 aircraft, which arrived on scene and made contact with the distressed mariner who reported that he had no rudder or rigging and was taking on heavy seas. Weather on scene was reported as 20-foot seas and 46 mph winds.

Luckily, Shell’s arctic drilling rig, Polar Pioneer, was nearby and the support vessel Tor Viking was sent to provide assistance.

In the video, you can see the man clutch to the rigging of the vessel before making the headfirst leap over the railing of the Tor Viking – apparently with his cat tucked inside his jacket.

“The assistance of the good Samaritans on this long-range distress call was vital for the success of the rescue,” said Bud Holden, a Coast Guard 17th District watchstander. “The crew of Tor Viking battled 20-foot seas and gale force winds to help a fellow mariner.”

Here’s is the Coast Guard video from the rescue:

The Coast Guard said it was alerted to mariner’s dire situation after he set off his emergency position indicating radio beacon (EPIRB). The Coast Guard Cutter Munro and two MH-60 helicopters and a refueling aircraft for long-range missions were also sent to assist, the Coast Guard said.

Tor Viking is owned by Viking Supply ships and was part of Shell’s arctic drilling fleet this past summer. The vessel is chartered to Shell until the end of 2015.

The rescue isn’t the first rescue for Tor Viking up north. In 2010, the AHTS rescued the disabled bulk carrier Golden Seas from the Bering Sea in seas up to 20 feet.