Amver Ship Rescues 2 Canadians near Bermuda

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An Amver participating bulk carrier rescued 2 Canadian sailors during a medical evacuation from their sailboat 260 miles northwest of Bermuda.

The Amver participating cargo ship SMT Bontrup

"The first survivor was lifted on board because he could not walk on his legs," the Captain said in an email update to the Coast Guard.

Two Canadian sailors are safely aboard the Amver participating ship SMT Bontrup after requiring medical evacuation from their 34 foot sloop 260 miles northwest of Bermuda on Wedesday, December 12, 2012.

The sailboat Chessa was sailing towards Bermuda when one of the 65 year old Canadian sailors became ill. His partner contacted U.S. Coast Guard rescue authorities in Norfolk, Va. requesting assistance. "He passed out," stated the yachtsman about his sailing companion, "and a strong front is coming over and we are in the low."

The SMT Bontrup, a 656 foot bulk carrier, was sailing from Maracaibo, Venezuela when they were contacted by Coast Guard rescue personnel about the distress. Captain Krzystof Szwed immediately agreed to divert and assist the sailors.

Three hours after the initial notification, Captain Szwed had the Bahamian flagged ship alongside the sloop and began hoisting the sailors aboard. "The first survivor was lifted on board because he could not walk on his legs," the Captain wrote in an email update to the Coast Guard, "the ship's crew is keeping a vigil by the survivor's cabin."

After a meal aboard the ship both survivors were feeling better and were able to contact their families by satellite phone. The SMT Bontrup is sailing to Portland, Maine where the survivors will be met by Customs officials. The SMT Bontrup, managed by SMT Ship Management and Transport of Limassol, Cyprus, enrolled in the Amver system on January 1, 1979 and has earned 22 Amver awards for participation.

Amver, sponsored by the United States Coast Guard, is a unique computer-based, and voluntary global ship reporting system used worldwide by search and rescue authorities to arrange for assistance to persons in distress at sea.

With Amver, rescue coordinators can quickly identify participating ships in the area of distress and divert the best suited ship to respond. On any day there are over 5,000 ships available to carry out search and rescue services.

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Benjamin Strong
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