Updated: Tuesday, 26 Jun 2012, 12:45 PM EDT
Published : Tuesday, 26 Jun 2012, 12:45 PM EDT
PORTSMOUTH, Va. (WAVY) - Watchstanders with the Portsmouth based Coast Guard 5th District command center were able to help coordinate a rescue after a Maersk Bitan crewmember went overboard Saturday.
According to the Coast Guard, the watchstanders received a distress alert from another crewmember aboard the Maersk Bitan, a 675’ freight ship about a crewmember missing and believed overboard.
“We asked, when was the person last seen, where the ship was at that time, when did the crew notice the man was missing and where the ship was when they knew they had a man overboard,” said Chief Petty Officer Heath Blanton, a watchstander with the Coast Guard 5th District command center. “Once those facts were gathered, we began the search planning using the Search And Rescue Optimal Planning System simulation model to track where the currents would drift a person based on all the environmental factors.”
An enhanced group call was issued and several crews were asked to assist in the search.
Before arriving on scene, a crewmember aboard the Maersk Bitan contacted the command center around 3 p.m. to report they had found the missing crewmember treading water in the search area.
The man had been in the water for about 10 hours prior to his discovery.
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