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Newport Bermuda race rescues
Team McLube


The Publisher

Jul 9, 2008, 6:02 PM

Post #1 of 2 (9712 views)
Newport Bermuda race rescues Log-In to Post/Reply

From SCUTTLEBUTT 2632 - Monday, July 7, 2008

The 965-foot cruise ship Norwegian Dawn, while sailing off the coast of
Massachusetts and New York last week on its way to Bermuda, answered two
separate distress calls within twelve hours, rescuing two injured sailors
from different boats in rough seas as they returned following the Newport
Bermuda Race.

The first rescue was 210 miles off the coast of Cape Cod, Mass., where the
J/122 Patriot 's crew member, Andrew Paul Giglia, 42, of Wilton, Conn., was
suffering from shock-like symptoms and needed to be evacuated immediately.
Norwegian Dawn was contacted by the United States Coast Guard since it was
the closest ship to the sailboat, approximately 52 miles away. Within twelve
hours of rescuing the first sailor, Captain Vorren was notified of another,
potentially more serious, injury on the J/40 Misty approximately 260 miles
south of Montauk, NY. Hillary Bercovici, 55, of Greenwich, Conn., a male
crew member aboard the Misty sustained a head injury and was losing
consciousness. Both rescues occurred in winds over 30 knots and 15-20 foot
seas. -- Complete story:

> Coast Guard approaching Patriot:
> Fox News Report:

* From Bill Sandberg: The owner of Patriot was in his office when he got the
call from the US Coast Guard that his EPIRB was going off. He told them the
boat was returning from Bermuda, where then the CG said they'd call him back
in 42 minutes. Exactly 42 minutes later he received a call from the CG
saying they were over the boat. Speaks well for our often maligned, and
unfairly so, USCG.

The Publisher

Jul 9, 2008, 6:03 PM

Post #2 of 2 (9703 views)
Re: [The Publisher] Newport Bermuda race rescues [In reply to] Log-In to Post/Reply

From Howard Lapsley:
Thought your readers would like to read the gracious thank you letter sent by the owner of the J/120 AVRA, whose crew member was airlifted off the boat as it returned home from the Bermuda race. A good description of the event plus some good video footage. Great job by the Coast Guard and the crews on Gold Digger and Black Watch to assist in the rescue and good lessons in seamanship for us all.

Admiral Allen, Commodore Bishop and Mr Breeden:

I want to thank you for your and your people's critical participation in the successful rescue operation from AVRA on the morning of July 2nd about 240 miles south of Cape Cod

The rescue operation was flawless and it was because of your people's exceptional performance

On July 1st, one of the Newport-Bermuda return crew, a 66 year old woman, lost her footing and fell backwards into a lifeline, scraping the back of her head and so separating a "flap" of skin from her scalp...bleeding was substantial

We applied gauzes etc to the area and as it became apparent that we had a potentially worsening situation, I issued a Mayday on VHF 16; immediately, Black Watch and Gold Digger, both of which had competed in the Newport Bermuda race, responded

Capt John Bonds on Gold Digger was exceptional in that he kept that boat near us from 11 pm to 5 am to offer moral support and advice to both us and to the USCG rescue teams; repeatedly in the early hours of the morning I saw Digger's nav lights and I knew that they were there to help me and the crew of AVRA.

Dr Will Schweinzfeier on Gold Digger provided critical medical advice which helped stop the bleeding and stemmed the potential loss of consciousness - he had us duct tape the patient's head and to keep applying layers of duct tape until the blood flow ceased -- it worked!

Black Watch contacted the USCG on our behalf and functioned as a relay as we did not have an SSB on board AVRA.

With Black Watch relaying information back and forth, USCG sent out a C-130 Hercules airplane from their Elizabeth City base in NC -- it functioned as the "control" for the rescue and circled around us for about two hours starting at 4 AM.

I communicated extensively with the Hercules airplane as they walked me though preparing AVRA for the rescue operation.

45 minutes after the Hercules arrived, a Jayhawk rescue helicopter from Cape Cod Air Station arrived and conducted the drop of the swimmer shown on the videos:

The USCG operation was one of the most impressive things I have ever seen in my life -- the swimmer can only be likened to a superhero as he dropped from the helo to our stern and landed without getting his feet wet after that, the helo and swimmer dropped down a stretcher by which the injured person was lifted up around 5 AM and flown to a hospital on Cape Cod, from which she was released the next day.

In addition to the USCG's perfect operation, I must repeat that without the help of the two assisting vessels, Black Watch and Gold Digger, we would have been in a much worse place as each of those played an irreplaceable role in the operation.

My heartfelt thanks!


George Petrides

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