To say the Coast Guard has had a busy hurricane season would be an understatement, and one inspiring video shows a rescue mission in action after a boat capsized off the coast of Puerto Rico during the heat of vicious Hurricane Maria.
Passengers aboard the ship, the Ferrell, sent out a mayday signal Wednesday, saying they were completely disabled and being tossed about in 20-foot seas and 155 mph winds near Vieques, according to the US Coast Guard.
Metro UK reported that the British Royal Navy worked in tandem with the US Coast Guard to initiate the rescue of the Ferrell, a 146-foot former oceanographic research vessel on which a family with two children had been trapped for 24 hours during the storm.
Rescuers needed to wait for Maria to decrease from a Category 5 hurricane to venture out into the dangerous waters.
A signal from the radio beacon led the rescuers to a point just off Vieques — 50 miles from where the initial distress call was made.
Video footage shows a helicopter swoop down near the besieged boat to snag the mother and two 12-year-old boys as they waved frantically from atop the capsized ship. Sadly, a British man, believed to be the father, was trapped inside the boat and was unable to be saved.
The Coast Guard was startled to hear the boat was out in the powerful storm.
“We initially got the call — a vessel in distress, a family of four — north of St. Croix, literally in the teeth of a hurricane,’” Coast Guard Rear Adm. Peter Brown said, the Daily Mail reports.
“We were obviously concerned,” he said. “We didn’t ask their names and didn’t ask why they were out there.”
After completing the rescue, the chopper flew toward a career, where the three were led to safety.
“There was obvious joy in the command center when the aircraft spotted them and the helicopter hoisted them to safety,” Brown said.
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