Lost And Found At Sea

By Bob Urie

This incident occurred in 1975

One Monday morning CGC Mellon received word that we were to get underway.  A Japanese fishing vessel called from about 700 miles WNW of Honolulu.  They had happened upon a 44 ft. sailing vessel.  It seems the Captain had been washed over the side in high winds and heavy seas, leaving the mans wife to fend for herself.  The fishing vessel intended to take her aboard and take the vessel in tow.  The woman refused to be taken off the boat until the storm worsted and the fishermen removed her from it.

When we left Honolulu we had the woman’s son and a crew for the sail boat aboard.  Her son explained that she was very nearly blind.

The boat had been underway for 53 days and she had been alone for about four weeks.  Her husband was lost Sept 22.  When her husband went over the side she could hear him yelling but could do little about it as she was not a sailor nor could she see well enough to find him in the water.

 

Sick bay reported that she seemed to be very fit and that she was consoling her son,  my God, what strength.  This woman truly saved herself.  After all this she said she was “physically and emotionally exhausted.”

 

Bob Urie is a retired Coast Guardsman                                                           

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Lost And Found At Sea By Bob Urie