The crew of a Singapore-flagged LPG tanker successfully rescued the lone occupant of a small yacht that was in danger of sinking in Caribbean waters on Wednesday, April 3.
The Rescue Coordination Centre (RCC) of the Ministry of Development in Madrid received a distress call from a sailboat in the waters between Jamaica and Honduras at around 01:50 UTC on that date.
The Madrid RCC personnel advised their counterparts in Colombia of the situation as it had occurred within the Colombia RCC’s area of responsibility.
The Colombia RCC then sent out a request for any vessels transiting the area to render assistance to the distressed yacht pending the arrival of dedicated search and rescue (SAR) assets.
One of the vessels that heard the call for assistance was the LPG tanker Epic Balta, which was sailing from Honduras to Trinidad and Tobago at the time.
Epic Balta then diverted to the area and rescued the yacht skipper, who has been identified as a 69-year-old Spanish male.
The rescued individual, who had suffered some minor injuries but was otherwise unharmed, claimed that he heard a loud explosion just before his boat started taking on water.
Moments after the successful rescue, the yacht finally sank at a point some 313 kilometres off the coast of Honduras.
The skipper told his rescuers that he had just participated in a regatta and was sailing for home when the trouble began.
The skipper stayed on the tanker until he was transferred to a Colombian warship which would transport him to Colombia.