Coast Guard Rescues Sailing Vessel Near Fort Bragg After It Was Abandoned Near Washington State

Coast Guard Cutter Barracuda crewmembers prepare to tow the unmanned 46-foot sailing vessel after finding it near Fort Bragg, Calif., July 22, 2018. The Coast Guard Cutter Barracuda crew found the vessel more than 440 miles south-southeast of its last known position near Grays Harbor, Washington, on June 18, when it was abandoned after a search-and-rescue case. (U.S. Coast Guard courtesy photo/released).

Coast Guard Cutter Barracuda crewmembers prepare to tow the unmanned 46-foot sailing vessel after finding it near Fort Bragg, Calif., July 22, 2018. The Coast Guard Cutter Barracuda crew found the vessel more than 440 miles south-southeast of its last known position near Grays Harbor, Washington, on June 18, when it was abandoned after a search-and-rescue case. (U.S. Coast Guard courtesy photo/released).

Press release from the US Coast Guard:

The Coast Guard located a 46-foot sailing vessel, Sunday, that was adrift for more than one month after the vessel owners were rescued from it off the coast of Grays Harbor, Washington, on June 16.

The Coast Guard Cutter Barracuda crew found the vessel, the Kelaerin, Sunday while on routine patrol near Fort Bragg more than 440 miles south-southeast from its position on June 16.

The Barracuda crew inspected the vessel’s seaworthiness and took it in tow toward the coast, where a Coast Guard Station Fort Bragg 47-foot Motor Lifeboat crew relieved the tow and moored the vessel at the B Dock in Fort Bragg, Monday morning. Coast Guard Sector Humboldt Bay watchstanders contacted the owners to notify them the vessel had been found.

The owners were reportedly sailing from Hawaii to Bellingham, Washington, in June when a storm rendered their vessel disabled and tore their main sail. The couple activated their emergency position indicating radio beacon, and a helicopter crew from Coast Guard Sector Columbia River in Astoria, Oregon, responded and rescued them. The sailors were transferred to emergency medical services personnel with symptoms of hypothermia.

After the rescue, Coast Guard watchstanders warned mariners about the adrift sailing vessel via VHF radio.

“The vessel was not under power and was completely at the mercy of the sea,” said Chief Warrant Officer Chris Ramp, the Sector Humboldt Bay command center chief. “The owners probably never thought they’d see it again. Thankfully, the Barracuda crew kept a vigilant eye on the water and spotted the vessel so they could bring it back to shore.”

To read the original report, click here.

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16 comments

  • Nice looking boat.. great save Coast Guard..
    Wonder if the owners already collected on the insurance and if so, what then?..

  • She’s a beauty.

    The insurance company gets to keep the vessel if they already paid out on a claim. They probably have not paid anything since it was only adrift for a little more than one month. It seems odd that the CG did not send a commercial towing company who could have made a salvage claim for a % of the vessel’s value. It must have been a hazard to navigation.

  • The insurance company takes possession of boat, and sells it to recover their payment to the insured.

  • That check has not even been written…
    From Latitude 38 magazine’s ‘Lectronic Latitude on June 18.

    Two Sailors Rescued in Washington

    June 18, 2018 – Grays Harbor, WA

    On Saturday, a couple aboard a 46-foot sailboat en route from Hawaii to Bellingham, Washington, activated their EPIRB. According to a Coast Guard press release, the husband and wife ran into heavy seas. The boat, Kelaerin, was not leaking, but was awash with frigid seawater. After a helicopter arrived on scene about 180 miles off Grays Harbor, Washington, and lowered a rescue swimmer, the aircrew hoisted the couple aboard “at the request of the vessel owners because of health concerns.”

    The News Tribune, an outlet based in Washington, included a link to a blog from a sailboat called Kelaerin, which had been cruising the globe for decades and was doublehanded by a husband and wife, but could not confirm if the boats were the same. Based on the video from the Coast Guard rescue and photos from the blog — both of which show a blue-hulled cutter — it does appear, from an informal visual ID, to be the same vessel. A blog posting said after leaving Washington in 1991, the couple was planning to return to Bellingham to complete their circumnavigation.

    “A marine information broadcast is being sent out to notify vessel traffic of the adrift sailing vessel,” the Coast Guard said in a press release. “The attempted salvage of the vessel will be at the owners’ discretion.”

    Also on Saturday, a man died in Berkeley after his canoe apparently capsized (Saturday saw gale-force conditions, though it’s not clear how the canoe flipped over). “A bystander on the beach reported seeing an empty canoe floating in the water about 5:30 p.m.” according to SF Gate, which quoted a Coast Guard spokesperson. The Coast Guard and Berkeley and Oakland fire departments did a search of the marina, and eventually found an unconscious — and as yet unidentified — man in the water.

    – latitude / tim

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  • Noyo Harbor doesn’t need another problem boat!

  • The following is information about the recent loss of the 46’ sailboat KELAERIN, and the rescue (by USCG helicopter) of her crew.

    The text below is from the owner of the boat, and in her words. It is a very vivid description of what happened and how conditions were at the time. I have highlighted by bold some of the points to note.

    This is one of the best descriptions I have read outside of a book. I am making no judgement of this incident or loss. I am glad the crew is safe. I also commend the USCG rescue of these sailors. The helicopter crew was at the limit of their fuel, and landed with just one minute of fuel left, after the rescue 180 miles offshore! Heroic.

    I am sharing this account here with the sole intention of helping others see what can happen to even experienced sailors on a well found cruising boat. This boat is 46 feet long. Sailed by an experienced couple who had 17 years of experience. This happened to them as they neared the end of their circumnavigation.

    Note the description of how the boat was inside after the wave strike. Note the loss of the dinghy and the life raft. Note the multiple inoperable electric bilge pumps and why. Note the inoperable SSB radio. Note the onset of hypothermia. Note the importance of the ditch bag. Please remember this post is NOT a criticism of them. Instead, note these things can happen to anyone.

    They were experienced cruisers and have 17 years of cruising experience. This couple had previously sailed a very long distance around the world, almost a circumnavigation. They crossed the Atlantic, went through the Mediterranean and the Suez Canal, and had crossed the Pacific on their way home to Washington state in the USA.

  • Sail around the world and lose your boat 150 miles from the finish line.

  • Fukushio Current

    The same current goes from Japan North around the pacific and passes below Hawaii and back to Japan. This current delivers redwood logs to Hawaii. It is the current ancient polynesians used for thousands of years to circumnavigate the northern pacific. 500 milea in one month floating without a sail or power at the mercy of the sea. Awesome story. Check out the book Shipwrecks of the Pacific from the 1800’s, there were literally hundreds of recorded instance of Japanese fishing junks sited wrecked all along the West Coast from The Columbia River in Washington to Peru. This is the North Pacific Gyre.

  • Bill ’em. For everything. Another case of yuppie adventurers costing the taxpayer. Absurd.

    • Triniboldticino

      Ooooo. Tough guy. Get hit by a wave in the dark after 17 years of cruising the world, and the Coasties should’ve just let ’em drown. I wonder which taxpayer teat you’re sucking on.

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