, A cargo ship called for help from a U.S Coast Guard ship after departing San Juan, Puerto Rico.
Departing ahead of Tropical Storm Isaias, the ship faced perilous conditions at the sea. A Mayday VHF radio transmission was received by the U.S Coast Guard in the sector of San Juan. The transmission was being made by the Captain of the MV island Express.
MV Island Express is a roll-on/roll-off cargo ship, measuring a staggering 412 feet, bearing the flag of Cyprus.
Ironically, the 18 member crew, along with the ship, had left the Port of San Juan foreseeing the arrival of Tropical Cyclone 9, with hopes of avoiding the same.
Aided by Response Boats and an MH-65 Dolphin helicopter, the ship was successfully rescued and brought back to the Port of San Juan.
“Our boat crews responded immediately to launch two 33-foot small boats from their trailers and the 45-foot Response Boat-Medium utilizing the mobile boat hoist,” said Lance Wiser, Officer In Charge, Station San Juan.
Currently, the ship, along with the 18 crew members on board, is moored in San Juan safely.
A Coast Guard MH-65 Dolphin helicopter also arrived on the scene, and the aircrew was able to maintain communications with the Coast Guard boat crews as they escorted the cargo ship back to the safety of the port in 8- to 10-foot seas.
“Despite the impending tropical storm and all Station San Juan small boats securely out of the water because of the storm, our boat crews responded immediately to launch two 33-foot small boats from their trailers and the 45-foot Response Boat-Medium utilizing the mobile boat hoist,” said Senior Chief Petty Officer Lance Wiser, Station San Juan officer in charge.
“The teamwork and training of Station operators allowed these evolutions to safely take place simultaneously, which led to all three assets arriving on the scene with the distressed vessel within 45 minutes,” added Wiser. ”The sea conditions on scene were pushing the parameters of the small boats but the crews endured and the distressed vessel was escorted safely into the harbor.”
Meanwhile, Sector San Juan Prevention personnel coordinated with the San Juan Bay Pilots and two Puerto Rico Towing tugboats that rendezvoused with the M/V Island Express at the entrance of San Juan Harbor. The tugboats escorted the ship to Pier 15, where the vessel safely moored and the crew was able to finalize dewatering of the bilge spaces.