The Atrevida II after being towed back to harbour
The miraculous rescue of two men off the Delaware coast highlights the need for keeping both an EPIRB and an eVDSD onboard.
After running out of fuel to power their navigation equipment, a group of sailors were found alive after drifting some 200 miles from the Delaware coast.
Kevin Hyde, 65, Joe Ditomasso, 76, and their dog were traveling from Cape May, New Jersey, to Marathon, Florida, aboard their boat Atrevida II but fell out of contact with their family after leaving North Carolina’s Outer Banks on Dec 3rd.
The U.S. Coast Guard was notified on Sunday, Dec 4th that the group was overdue in Florida and a search was initiated.
The entirety of the search area spanned nearly the entire Eastern Seaboard from New Jersey to Florida, covering a massive search area of over 21,000 square miles.
Coast Guard cutters and aircraft were launched to help cover the massive surface area along with U.S. Navy ships and commercial and recreational boats along the group’s expected route.
According to the Coast Guard, On Tuesday, Dec 13th, Hyde and Ditomassa were spotted by the crew of the Silver Muna tanker ship off the coast of Delaware.
Their sailboat had run out of fuel, thus rendering their radios, electronics, and navigation equipment inoperable. Unsure of their location or direction, the two men had seemingly been adrift.
After an evaluation by the medical staff aboard the Silver Muna both men and the dog were found to be in good health.
The trio will now stay aboard the tanker until it reaches its destination in New York, at which time the Coast Guard will reevaluate the men before reuniting them with their families.
Joe Ditomassa & dog / Photo- U.S. Coast Guard
“This is an excellent example of the maritime community’s combined efforts to ensure safety of life at sea,” said Cmdr. Daniel Schrader, spokesperson for Coast Guard Atlantic Area.
“We are overjoyed with the outcome of the case and look forward to reuniting Mr. Hyde and Mr. Ditomasso with their family and friends. We also want to highlight the importance of proper safety equipment and preparedness when going to sea. Having an emergency position indicating radio beacon, or ‘EPIRB’, allows mariners to immediately make contact with first responders in an emergency.”
An EPIRB, or Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon, is a self-sustaining electronic device that sends a boat’s location via GPS once activated.
Carrying an eVDSD (electronic visual distress signaling device) is also highly recommended to ensure you can notify searchers of your location if they come near.
The situation aboard the Atrevida II is also a good reminder for boaters to check their flares and ensure they know how to make an emergency call.