SIU Crew Comes to Rescue of Distressed Catamaran


April 2015


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Once again, SIU mariners have demonstrated that they are always ready to help out in a crisis. On Feb. 26, the Crowley-managed Ocean Crescent, a heavy lift vessel, received a message from the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) concerning a distress signal originating 200 miles off the coast of North Carolina. The ship diverted 20 nautical miles and was the first on the scene of the disabled catamaran Rainmaker. The vessel was stranded, with two inoperable engines and a broken mast, the latter having also smashed through the forward port window and destroyed the ship’s navigational equipment.


The Ocean Crescent pulled alongside the Rainmaker in order to shield it from the 20-foot waves. The crew also relayed messages from the inbound USCG helicopter and search plane, which arrived shortly after. Once all of the catamaran’s crew was safely loaded aboard the Coast Guard helicopter, the USCG thanked the Ocean Crescent for their assistance and dismissed them from the scene.


The SIU crew onboard included Bosun Kyle Shultz, ABs Kevin Hanmont, Jose Panlilio and William Rackley, QEE Tomas Merel, Oilers David Gentsch and Boyko Kovatchev, Steward/Baker Tammy Bingisser and ACU Yolanda Martinez.


“The whole crew performed very well. We used everything we were trained for and more,” said Shultz. “The time between diverting toward the sailboat and being ready to go couldn’t have been more than 30 minutes, and that’s with everyone scattered around the ship and getting off of their shifts.”


He continued, “We had originally cast two lines down to the crew of the sailboat, but they couldn’t hold on due to the storm. So we formed a lee with our ship, and had every piece of life-saving equipment ready to go – just in case – as we waited for the Coast Guard helicopter.


“I want to thank the entire crew for their quick response and excellent performance,” he said.


“Crowley crew members continue to be respected leaders in the maritime industry not just because of how they professionally conduct themselves during routine operations, but also for the ways in which they safely and compassionately conduct themselves in nearly any situation,” said Mike Golonka, vice president of ship management at Crowley. “We continue to be among the most sought-after international vessel management companies in the world and it is undoubtedly in large part due to our outstanding crew members.”




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