"...the rescued men weren't carrying a satellite phone, an essential backup tool for contacting rescue officials".
Friday September 30th, 2016
Two men rescued from a sailboat in the Gulf of Alaska Wednesday may owe their lives to a mariner off Hawaii, who heard an initial distress call when Alaska-based U.S. Coast Guard members couldn't.
Coast Guard Petty Officer 3rd Class Meredith Manning said in a statement Wednesday that the 35-foot Rafiki was sinking Tuesday night in 6-foot seas about 230 miles south of Cold Bay.
Manning said the Rafiki had previously put into Dutch Harbor after reporting problems with its sails to the Coast Guard. The vessel was en route from Dutch Harbor to Victoria, British Columbia, when the men saw water pouring into the hull near the engine.
"They were trying to contact the Coast Guard in Alaska, but it was coming through staticky," Manning said. "They also didn't have any kind of survival suits — they had life jackets."
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