SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 9: Four Irish sailors were rescued from their stricken Swan class yacht, Wolfhound, this morning around 70 miles north of Bermuda.

The men, two in their 70s and two in their 50s, had to deal with battery power 400 miles off the Delaware coast as well as engine failure a day after departing  Westbrook, Connecticut.

The distressed vessel had no power for communications or navigational systems for eight days and suffered two knockdowns (when the boat is knocked on her beam's end), prompting the skipper to activate the Emergency Beacon, which was picked up by the Bermuda Operations Centre at around 5pm on Friday.

After being unable to identify the owner of the beacon via international checks, the BMOC commenced Urgent Marine Information Broadcasts to vessels in the vicinity, while the US Coast Guard dispatched a C-130 fixed wing aircraft from Elizabeth City to the distress position.

BMOC also initiated a SURPIC (Surface Picture) to locate vessels in the vicinity and diverted M/v Eurochampion 2004, 90 miles northeast of the beacon’s position, and M/v Tetian Trader, 85 miles southwest of the distress position; with both vessels arriving on scene in five-six hours. When the US Coastguard aircraft arrived on scene, it was unable to establish communications with the crew, despite seeing lights on board.

The M/v Tetian Trader arrived in the search area in the early hours of Saturday morning and by 8am managed to bring the yacht alongside the ship. The four men are now safely on board M/v Tetian Trader, which is presently en route to Mersin, Turkey. One crew member suffered a slight hand injury.

The U.S. Coast Guard C-130 initially on scene returned to the U.S. while the HH-60 helicopter and second C-130 aircraft have recently landed in Bermuda. Wolfhound sank shortly after being released from the ship 64 miles north of Bermuda.

The Bermuda Maritime Operations Centre wish to highlight the cooperation between the USA, Ireland and Bermuda search and rescue organizations.

In a press release the BMOC also said: “This case proves the effectiveness of carrying a 406MHz beacon for distress alerting, however, it also highlights the need for the beacon to be correctly programmed and registered with a country’s SAR authorities for effective tasking of SAR resources.

“In the case of Bermudian beacons this is with the Bermuda Maritime Operations Centre who can be contacted on 297-1010 for information and advice on correct procedures.”