Captain suffering medical emergency and taking on water
Sault Ste. Marie, Mich - U.S. Customs and Border Protection Air and Marine Operations (AMO) agents assigned to the Sault Ste. Marie Marine Unit located a sailing vessel in the vicinity of Cockburn Island, Ontario, Canada after a MAYDAY call by the Canadian Coast Guard in Sarnia, Ontario.
The incident began at approximately 12:00 p.m. on October 11, when AMO Agents underway on a routine law enforcement patrol near Drummond Island, Michigan heard a MAYDAY call by the Canadian Coast Guard in Sarnia, Ontario asking for any assistance in locating the master of a sailing vessel who was suffering a medical emergency and was taking on water. Upon hearing the call the Marine Interdiction agents ceased their law enforcement patrol aboard their 33’ SAFE Boat and crossed into Canadian waters to render aid approximately 18 nautical miles into Canadian waters utilizing the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea or SOLAS.
At approximately 1:00 p.m., the AMO crew located the 30’ U.S. documented sailing vessel anchored near Cockburn Island with four-foot waves washing over the vessel’s stern and taking on water. The AMO Vessel embarked a crewman onto the distressed vessel to assess the master’s physical condition and stop the vessel from taking on water.
“This case is a testament to how well we work with our fellow law enforcement partners as well as our International partners when lives are at risk,” said Brandon Snader, Director Marine Operations, Great Lakes Air and Marine Branch. “I am just glad we were able to respond so quickly and assist in this incident in Canadian waters thanks to the laws and regulations of the SOLAS Convention.”
An Ontario Provincial Police patrol vessel arrived on scene at 1:30 p.m. with an EMT, and assumed control of the vessel and subject. Status of the victim is unknown at this time.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection is the unified border agency within the Department of Homeland Security charged with the management, control and protection of our nation's borders at and between the official ports of entry. CBP is charged with keeping terrorists and terrorist weapons out of the country while enforcing hundreds of U.S. laws.