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“Rescue Mee !”

by Louay Habib 26 Sep 2005 21:05 BST

After 39 days at sea Maritime Explorer Dom Mee has initiated his emergency rescue plan after a prolonged loss of communications coupled with 60 knot winds and mountainous seas, Dom has been battling storm after storm since leaving St.Johns, Newfoundland but by Sunday 25th September he was experiencing unimaginable conditions.

International maritime navigator and weather router Mike Broughton explains:

“We had been tracking this particular storm for about 5 days using the latest high definition GRIB data availiable, it was a very nasty low pressure system, in my last text message to Dom I told him to prepare himself for the worst, the storm was heading straight for him and would peak in intensity at his position at 1400 hr Sunday, the conditions must have been absolutely horrendous, huge seas and sixty knots gusting up to seventy knots”

Sunday 25th September Project Manager; ‘Adrian Wibrew’ received a call from Falmouth Coast Guard informing him that “Little Murka’s” EPIRB (Emergency position indicating radio beacon) had been activated; indicating that Dom was in grave and imminent danger.

Falmouth Coast Guard had been contacted by JRCC (Joint Rescue Co-ordination Centre) Halifax advising them of the activation and were seeking further information. At that time JRCC Halifax broadcasted a “Maritime Assistance Request” to all shipping in the area for assistance.

Adrian made contact with JRCC’s and answered their questions about the last known status of Dom, his vessel “Little Murka” and the emergency equipment on board. A Hercules rescue aircraft; “Rescue 313” was launched which was tracking “Little Murka’s” EPIRB GPS signal.

In turn Dom’s PLB (Personal Locater Beacon) had also been activated suggesting that Dom had been forced from his vessel highlighting the need for urgent rescue.

The duty watch keeper at Halifax informed Adrian;

“The adverse sea state and storm conditions were less than perfect for a rescue attempt. Dom is in the worst possible place he could be in the North Atlantic; it could take some time to get to him. He is in a massive storm with 60 knot winds and experiencing mountainous swell, however we will do our best”.

It took some time for ‘Rescue 313’ a Hercules aircraft to locate “Little Murka”, however there was no sign of Dom. After circling for some time, unable to go lower than 50 feet because of the waves, Dom emerged from his cabin and waved at the aircraft.

Having identified that Dom was aboard and on deck the crew dropped an emergency assistance package; including life raft, food, water and radios. Dom fought to secure these and subsequently contacted the rescue team.

Over night bulk container ship BERGE NORD has responded to the “Maritime assistance request” and made its way to Dom’s co-ordinates. In turn ‘Rescue 313’ has been replaced by the aircraft ‘Rescue 116’ and the Canadian Coastguard Vessel CYGNUS is on route to assist it is expected to reach the location at approx. 12.30 Zulu.

WE HAVE JUST HEARD THAT DOM IS NOW SAFELY ABOARD CYGNUS WITH MURKA IN TOW AND HEADING BACK TO ST.JOHNS.

He is being examined by the medical team before being debriefed by the Captain.

For minute by minute information please visit the BLOG on the website www.dommee.co.uk which will be updated as soon as we receive more information.

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