Thursday, October 11, 2012

Rescue Service Celebrates 30 Years

Cospas-SARSAT is celebrating the 30th anniversary of its first life-saving rescue in the United States...

Today we wanted to share a piece from our regional sister publication, Northeast Boater, about a satellite system that has been saving the lives of boaters since the early 1980's. The story has a New England connection, but affects boaters everywhere...

First Cospas-SARSAT rescue
Photo courtesy of the U.S. Coast Guard
Thirty years ago this month, about 300 miles off of the coast of Maine, a barrage of towering, 25-foot waves battered a catamaran sailboat, causing it to begin sinking. A satellite, orbiting in space, detected the signal from an emergency beacon onboard the boat. A short while later, the US Coast Guard Cutter Vigorous, the Oil Tanker California Gerry, and the freighter Altlantic Ace were all on the scene, and the three passengers of the cat were pulled to safety.

The Search and Rescue Satellite-Aided Tracking system, or Cospas-SARSAT, is celebrating the 30th anniversary of this first life-saving rescue in the United States, which occurred October 10, 1982. NOAA operates several satellites and the U.S. Mission Control Center as part of the international program that has been responsible for the rescue of more than 30,000 people worldwide and nearly 7,000 in the United States since its inception in 1982.

(This story continues on NortheastBoater.com)