Significant Maritime Incidents

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Date: 22/05/2022

Sunday 22nd May, 2:22am – A 406 MHz Emergency Locator Transmitter (ELT) distress beacon activation is detected by the COSPAS SARSAT satellite system in the vicinity of Clearwater Beach, Bermuda. The beacon is coded to U.S. registered general aviation aircraft N1978X. Following further inquiries with Bermuda International Airport Duty Officers and the aircraft operator, the aircraft is verified as being safely on the ground at the Cedar Aviation ramp. The crew return to the aircraft from their hotel for an early morning departure at which time the transmitting distress beacon is located within the plane and de-activated.


Date: 22/05/2022

Sunday 22nd May, 10:00am – The 45 foot Italian registered sailing catamaran VILLADRAGO is identified by the Maritime Operations Centre approaching Bermuda from the south and observed to be attempting entry into port via the Hogfish small boat Channel off of Pompano Beach. Attempts to contact the yacht via marine VHF radio are unsuccessful and so the Royal Bermuda Regiment Coast Guard are requested to intercept the yacht and assess their navigation abilities and have them contact Bermuda Radio regarding entry into port at the East end of the island. At 1040hrs the yacht and her 4 crew enroute to the Azores from the Turks and Caicos Islands are located by an attending RBR CG vessel and despite limited English, is directed back to the safety of deep water. The crew contact Bermuda Radio and are guided East along the South Shore, later clearing Customs at the St. George’s Yacht Reporting Centre at 1400hrs that day.


Date: 19/05/2022

Thursday 19th May, 05:46 pm – Fishing vessel LAST CHANCE approximately 7 miles West Southwest of Gibbs Hill in the marine area commonly referred to as ‘Sally Tuckers’ contacts Bermuda Radio on VHF Channel 16 reporting having sighted debris and what appears to be a person in the water some distance from them shouting and waving for help. LAST CHANCE is proceeding at best speed to the scene and also requests further assistance after losing sight of person for a period of time. The LAST CHANCE also reports having sighted an area of debris as they passed this same area earlier headed out to fish, but that was all. It was only when they shut their engine down at anchor that they heard someone shouting. RCC Bermuda / Bermuda Radio (the marine Rescue Coordination Centre) pinpoints the LAST CHANCE's position on radar with the help of radio direction finding and tasks a RBR Coastguard vessel to immediately proceed to the scene given the uncertainty of the situation and possible requirement for a marine search. A few minutes later the LAST CHANCE confirms locating one individual in the water followed shortly after by the location of a second person swimming nearby. Two males are recovered without injuries or the need for immediate medical assistance and they report that their vessel the HALEY REED had sunk several hours earlier between 12:30 or 1:00pm. The LAST CHANCE proceeds to Robinson's Marina, Somerset escorted by a RBR Coastguard vessel who RCC request obtain further details about the sinking incident and the lack of any form of distress alert from the stricken vessel and her very fortunate crew.


Date: 19/05/2022

Thursday 19th May, 3:08pm – 20 foot pleasure craft THE MOOD reports being disabled South of Darrell’s Island in the Great Sound. Vessel is safely at anchor with 2 POB. Vessel operator has tried to arrange tow assistance without success. BMOC suggests private tow company Sea Assist as a possible option and THE MOOD agrees for BMOC to request dispatch of a nearby Sea Assist vessel and the completion of a commercial tow to Red Hole, Hamilton Harbour.


Date: 18/05/2022

Wednesday 18th May, 08:35 am – An oil sheen on the surface of the water is observed inside the Dockyard South Camber extending from the Commercial Docks to the Camber Breakwater entrance. Upon further investigation the pollution source is found to be the tug CLEVELANDER, the crew onboard reporting that the tug had filled with water and emergency pumping had resulted in some fuel/oil having been discharged by the trash pump they were using to prevent the tug sinking. The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) are briefed and a RBR Coastguard unit is tasked to assess the situation. An absorbent oil boom is later deployed in order to contain the heavier oil and stop it entering the North Camber. DENR will follow up with the vessel operator Crisson Construction regarding next steps and any additional cleanup measures.


Date: 16/05/2022

Saturday 16th April, 2:07 am – Bermuda Maritime Operations Centre receives a telephone call from the Bermuda Regiment-Coastguard reporting that a 30 foot sailing vessel is aground with 1 person onboard Southwest of Cobbler's Island off of Spanish Point. The vessel has been aground since around sunset and attempts by the RBR Coastguard to pull her free have not been successful. Given that low water is around 3:00 am and the winds are light and seas slight it is decided to remove the lone occupant to shore and return at daylight on the next high tide to recover the vessel. The owner/operator reports no signs of hull damage or water ingress and he is content to return with a friend later this morning to recover the vessel. Reportedly the sailboat ran out of fuel and drifted onto rocks whilst trying to sail home in the light winds. The boat is successfully removed from its grounded location at high tide as planned.


Date: 15/05/2022

Sunday 15th May, 6:25 pm – Cellphone call from the 17 foot centre console TWO STEP located approximately 400 meters from Snorkel Park Beach, Dockyard with 3 persons onboard. Vessel reports becoming disabled after having run out of fuel. Bermuda Radio makes Marine VHF Radio broadcasts on VHF Channel 16 requesting assistance. Tour boat REEF EXPLORER responds offering to assist if no other option can be found given that they have a tour group onboard, meanwhile commercial tow operator Sea Assist responds to the scene, transferring fuel to the disabled vessel and then escorting them to their mooring in Dockyard.


Date: 14/05/2022

Saturday 14th May, 4:02pm – Bermuda Maritime Operations Centre receives a satellite telephone call from the 54 foot sailing vessel PLEIONE some 150 miles West Southwest of Bermuda with 3 POB. The vessel's auto pilot has reportedly failed and the yacht is also taking on a small amount of water for undetermined reasons with her bilge pumps proving unreliable due to a partial blockage. Repair facilities in Bermuda and Covid entry requirements are assessed with BMOC help, however the skipper of the PLEIONE elects to continue their voyage to Newport, Rhode Island after their bilge pumps are made more reliable. Vessel calls BMOC / RCC Bermuda at 1130 Local Time May 19th confirming safe arrival in Newport.


Date: 14/05/2022

Saturday 14th May, 3:58pm – Bermuda Radio receives a call on marine VHF radio from a vessel relaying that a another vessel at anchor nearby is disabled on the Eastern side of the Sail GP event race course in the Great Sound. Bermuda Radio makes contact via VHF radio with the disabled 21 foot pleasure craft with 7 persons onboard and organizes a tow back to Hamilton with a nearby Bermuda Coastguard vessel.


Date: 14/05/2022

Saturday 14th May, 6:26am – Bermuda Maritime Operations Centre receives a telephone call from Police Operations / COMOPS regarding a vehicle that has left The Causeway near Blue Hole Hill and that it is now in the water in Castle Harbour. All occupants are reported safe and well but there are signs of pollution visible to officers on the scene. BMOC requests assistance with pollution containment from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources and the RBR Coastguard. On arrival at the scene Environment Officers advise that no pollution is now visible and that an oil spill boom is no longer necessary so RBR Coastguard units are stood down and the car is later recovered ashore.


Date: 13/05/2022

Friday 13th May, 4:30 pm – Telephone call from the ARC Europe 2022 race control representative in Bermuda regarding an inbound participant in the annual Atlantic Rally for Cruisers event reporting that the 52 foot sailing vessel MERCAN approximately 26 miles South of Bermuda had fouled her propeller. Communication with the MERCAN is established and upon arrival in Five Fathom Hole east of St. George's Harbour the vessel is directed to temporarily anchor until daylight when the crew of the vessel can then safely clear her propellor in the morning, else a commercial tow will be organized. The crew of the MERCAN clears the vessel's propellor of a section of fishing net the next morning and the yacht safely enters the harbour unassisted.


Date: 09/05/2022

Monday 9th May, 10:00pm - A member of the public reports that an unlit sailing vessel of between 45 and 50 feet has been observed at anchor in Salt Kettle Bay roughly between Darrell's Wharf and Burnt Island. A nearby Government ferry in Hamilton Harbour confirms the vessel's position and unlit status as representing a hazard to navigation. Bermuda Radio issues a local navigational warning as a precaution and tasks the RBR Coastguard to investigate and have them ensure that the yacht displays an anchor light and to move anchorage position if they are felt to be obstructing the inter-island channel.


Date: 07/05/2022

Saturday 7th May, 1:40pm - RCC Norfolk advises that a crewmember aboard the Panamanian registered sailing catamaran CLARA MARIS located 230 miles West Southwest of Bermuda has suffered a head injury as a result of a fall while working on the vessel's mast. The 75 foot sailing catamaran with 4 crew is enroute from Miami, Florida to Horta in the Azores. RCC Norfolk continue with medical assessment efforts while RCC Bermuda commences urgency broadcasts for other vessels in the vicinity able to assist. The 56 meter British sailing ketch FIDELIS is located nearby and takes the injured Argentinian crewman and another crewmember onboard from the CLARA MARIS before making best speed for Bermuda. The patient’s condition is monitored by a US Coast Guard flight surgeon and is fortunately found to be stable. Patient condition reports and arrival logistics are coordinated by BMOC with King Edward Hospital Emergency Department and the crewman is landed ashore at Ordnance Island to an awaiting ambulance at noonday on May 8th.


Date: 07/05/2022

Saturday 7th May, 5:00pm - Sailing vessel SEASTAR at a position 57 miles South of Bermuda reports having engine problems that will make entry into port difficult. The 54 foot sloop with 2 persons onboard is enroute to Bermuda from the British Virgin Islands. Bermuda Radio assists by making contact with a local contractor who will assist the yacht with a tow from Five Fathom Hole into St. George's Harbour for Customs clearance.


Date: 02/05/2022

Monday 2nd May, 8:28 pm – Bermuda Radio receives a VHF radio call from a visiting 112 foot sailboat anchored in St George’s Harbour with 24 crew onboard. They advise having 1 crewman onboard who is Covid positive and who appears to be suffering health complications requiring medical attention ashore. Following consultation with the Chief Medical Officer and the Department of Health, RCC Bermuda coordinates an ambulance rendezvous with the vessel's tender near Ordnance Island and the crewman is transferred to hospital.


Date: 02/05/2022

Monday 2nd May, 11:44 pm – Landline telephone call from a member of the public reporting having sighted an orange flare in the vicinity of Warwick Long Bay very close to shore. Bermuda Radio broadcasts a "PAN PAN" urgency message on marine VHF channel 16 seeking help from any vessel in the south shore area able to assist - but without a response. BMOC detection of a small stationary radar target in the approximate area of the sighting is further concerning and the RBR Coastguard is tasked from Boaz Island to investigate. Once on scene the RBR CG vessel locates the anchored vessel observed on radar, however they are not in distress and had not fired or otherwise observed a flare. Following a search of the area by the RBR CG unit the case was closed pending further reports or other information being received.


Date: 01/05/2022

Sunday 1st May, 6:42 pm – Cruise ship JEWEL OF THE SEAS approximately 300 miles South of Bermuda enroute from Miami, Florida to Madeira reports that a 65 year old female passenger has suffered cardiac arrest and requires emergency hospitalisation. The 90,000 gross ton Royal Caribbean cruiseship with 1,127 passengers and 802 crew onboard has diverted towards Bermuda at best speed. Potential US Coast Guard helicopter evacuation options were assessed, however the patient's condition will not permit a medevac. Ship's ETA Bermuda 0830hrs tomorrow morning. The patient is transferred on a stretcher to a waiting pilot boat the next morning (Monday 02 May) and conveyed ashore to Ordnance Island along with a family member and the ship's medical personnel where they are met by a waiting ambulance and transported to King Edward Hospital.


Date: 30/04/2022

Saturday 30th April, 5:50 pm – RCC Bermuda receives a telephone call from a member of the public who reports having observed a man fall overboard from the vessel that he lives onboard in Pruddens Bay, Salt Kettle. The man had fallen in the water a few minutes ago and was immediately assisted by the caller's grandson. He was pulled from the water uninjured and reportedly does not require medical care. RCC Bermuda advises the RBR Coastguard of the situation and they later undertake a welfare check on the elderly gentleman.


Date: 30/04/2022

Saturday 30th April, 8:03 pm – RCC Bermuda receives a distress alert from an Emergency Locator Transmitter (ELT) fitted aboard the Bermuda registered ATR-72 aircraft VQ-BWU. Upon investigation it was determined that this aircraft is no longer on the Bermuda register and in fact is in storage. With help from the previous and current owners of the aircraft it was established that the aircraft was safely on the ground at Bogota International Airport, Colombia and in fact the ELT had been removed for service and was currently in transit in Panama.


Date: 28/04/2022

Thursday 28th April, 5:20 am – A 406 MHz satellite distress beacon alert was received from a Bermuda coded beacon, however the transmission position could not be resolved and the device was unregistered. The situation was monitored, however with no further alerts from the beacon the incident was closed pending further developments.


Date: 28/04/2022

Thursday 28th April, 12:30 pm – Bermuda Radio was contacted by the Bermuda Pilot Service reporting that a small open boat of approximately 20 feet in length was observed adrift in the middle of St George's Harbour. The drifting vessel was noted to also have a mooring buoy at the bow as if it had broken free from a mooring nearby. The boat was taken in tow by the passing fishing vessel BUB BUB and secured to a mooring in Mullet Bay, meanwhile her owner was contacted by Bermuda Radio who later attended and secured the boat back on her mooring.