A McMurdo EPIRB (Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon) has saved the lives of two Trans-Atlantic rowers, who were successfully rescued when they activated the beacon after their boat sank in the middle of the Atlantic.
The transatlantic rowers, Briton Tom Fancett and Dutchman Tom Sauer, were nine days into the Talisker Whiskey Atlantic Challenge, a 3,000 mile endurance rowing event from the Canary Islands to Barbados, when a freak wave struck their boat and caused it to capsize and sink.
The Falmouth Coastguard received the alert at 7:54pm on Tuesday 13th December, 480 miles South West of the Canary Islands from the UK registered McMurdo beacon, belonging to the Atlantic Challenge rowing boat PS Vita.
The Falmouth Coast Guard broadcast an alert to all vessels in the area. Four vessels picked up the alert however approximately 120 miles from the location, and closest to the scene, was Crystal Serenity a Bahamian registered cruise ship which was en route to St Martin in the Caribbean from Tenerife.
The two rowers, who had spent at least 10 hours adrift in their tiny life raft before being saved, were rescued uninjured by the crew of Crystal Serenity in the early hours of the morning on Wednesday 14th December.
McMurdo offers a range of emergency location beacon products including EPIRBs, PLBs (Personal Location Beacons), SARTs, AIS Beacons, NAVTEX and VHF Radios – must-have devices for all safety-conscious sailors.
McMurdo’s range of EPIRBs are designed to alert search and rescue services in the event of an emergency by transmitting a coded message on the 406 MHz distress frequency. The G5 Smartfind EPIRB also includes a GPS receiver ensuring that the exact position of a casualty is relayed to the rescue services.