The United States Coast Guard Cutter Bernard C. Webber’s crew reported that they rescued two mariners on board the massive 110-foot motor vessel, Supplier One, on Sunday after it began filling with water approximately 35 miles off Great Inagua in The Bahamas.

At about 9:50 on July 3, the crew of Supplier One made their first emergency call on VHF-FM channel 16 to the Coast Guard Air Station Clearwater HC-130 Hercules aircraft, stating they were soaking up water.

Around 1 p.m. on July 5, the Coast Guard Sector Key West ground crew received an intelligence report of a “rustic vessel” three miles south of Man Key.

Additionally, a rustic ship was located roughly 55 miles southwest of Marquesa at 2:20 p.m. by a C-130 Hercules aircrew from Coast Guard Air Station Clearwater. 

At about 6:30 p.m., an HC-144 Ocean Sentry aircrew from Coast Guard Air Station Miami alerted watchstanders in Coast Guard Sector Key West of another rustic vessel approximately 61 miles southwest of Marquesas Key.

At approximately 7:30 p.m., another intelligence report informed Coast Guard Sector Key West watchstanders of a “rustic vessel” around 66 miles southwest of Marquesas Key.

Meanwhile, around midnight on Wednesday, about 45 miles south of Marathon, a Customs and Border Protection Air and Marine Operations aircraft informed Coast Guard Sector Key West watchstanders of a rustic sailboat.

According to the report by Space Coast Daily, the individuals were given to Matthew Town officials and were said to be in good physical condition.

The aircraft released a dewatering pump and a radio beacon with an emergency status to the sailors.

The Coast Guard District Seven command center watchstanders were notified of the rescue attempt by the aircrew members. However, when the cutter crew got to the location, they discovered that the massive 110-foot ship was not best suited for towing. 

Additionally, the marines were removed from the motorized vessel due to the heightened sea state, reporting 8-to-10-foot seas high.

A Coast Guard rescue swimmer drops out of a helicopter at Crash Boat Beach in Aguidilla, Puerto Rico, Thursday, Nov. 13, 2014, during a search and rescue demonstration.  (Source: U.S. Coast Guard photograph by Chief Petty Officer NyxoLyno Cangemi, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons)

Nevertheless, Lt. Caleigh J. Cobb, Coast Guard’s District Seven command center duty officer, claimed that the incident makes for an excellent demonstration of how meticulously Coast Guard personnel work collaboratively to ensure the two people were evacuated out of the ship without mishap.

“This case is a good example of how diligently Coast Guard crews work together to ensure the two people were rescued safely,” said Cobb.

He also reminded all other seafarers to “make sure” every watercraft always has an operational VHF-FM transmitter in case the mariners need or want to contact the Coast Guard for assistance if ever they will be in distress.

“Always make sure you have a working VHF-FM radio aboard your vessel in case you are in distress and need to contact the Coast Guard for assistance,” he prompted.

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While a commercial salvaging outfit strives to retrieve the ship, the report added an urgent maritime bulletin to notify vessels of its whereabouts.

Helping Save Lives

Crewmembers aboard the Coast Guard Cutter Kathleen Moore, homeported in Key West, Fla., prepare to receive Cuban nationals interdicted in the Florida Straits, Dec. 7, 2015. In the course of three days the crew of the Kathleen Moore interdicted 50 Cuban migrants allegedly attempting to enter the U.S. illegally. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Ashley J. Johnson)

Coast Guard members have intercepted at least 3,037 Cubans since October 1, 2021. The data shows a comparatively high interdiction rate after 2016. According to the report of Space Coast Daily, there were 5,396 Cuban migrants in the Fiscal Year 2016.

The report also mentioned that all migrants receive food, drink, shelter, and fundamental medical care after they board a Coast Guard cutter.

Lieutenant Karolina Del Hierro Vega of the Coast Guard’s Seventh District reported that coast guard officers had increased presence with air and sea capabilities daily through the Florida Straits. They do this to potentially save lives by getting rid of people from precarious situations. She counted that its troops assist in saving people’s lives from being squandered in these risky undertakings.

“Coast guard crews maintain an active presence with air and sea assets every day through the Florida Straits to help save lives by removing people from unsafe environments,” she said.

“Our crews help prevent people from losing their lives in these dangerous attempts,” she added.

The coast guard did not identify the nationality of those evacuated. However, it recently reported that the US Coast Guard returned 61 Cuban migrants to their country of origin over the weekend before the maritime accident and after multiple incursions off the Florida Keys.