Sealand Comet Rescues Yachtsman Stranded in Pacific Ocean


September 2011


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Seafarers aboard the Maersk Line, Limited containership Sealand Comet recently participated in a daring rescue of a stranded yachtsman. The ship, which was crossing the Pacific from Japan to Los Angeles, rescued the man from his sailboat during a typhoon.


In the early morning hours of July 24, the vessel received a distress call from Japanese Coast Guard personnel who were looking for the distressed sailboat. The containership chose to divert its course and assist in the search. At around 7 a.m., the boat – by then without sails – was spotted in rough seas. In the midst of a category 1 typhoon, the boat was being thrashed with gale winds of at least 40 knots.

The crew found the sailor, identified as Joe McCracken, and brought him to safety.


He is reported to be in good condition and is extremely grateful for the actions of all those aboard the Comet for his rescue.


“The saving of Mr. McCracken’s life can be directly attributed to the training and skill of the Sealand Comet officers and crew, capably demonstrated under extreme weather conditions,” said Ed Hanley, Maersk Line, Limited vice president.

The crew also received commendation from the Japanese Coast Guard for their “excellent seamanship.”


SIU members aboard the vessel at the time of the rescue included Bosun Matthew Bevak; ABs Emmanuel Buyser, Victor Frazier, Eric Lund, Robert Stenehjem, Gil Villena, and Samuel Lampshire; QE Alton Hickman, Sr.; QEE Rene Rosario; SB Howard Lewis; GUDE Rezk Mohamed; Chief Cook Wiley Owens; and SA Ziyad Omar.


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