At just after 3.00 am this morning Falmouth Coastguard received a distress message via satellite communication from the fishing vessel ‘Tolirova’.
The Coastguard plotted the vessels position as being approximately 1200 nautical miles west of the Chilean Coastline in South America.
After notifying the Chilean Coastguard, Watch Officers at Falmouth were requested to assist and were able to contact the vessel via satellite voice communication and the vessel confirmed that they were sinking with 20 people on board.
After contacting the US Coastguard and requesting notification of any vessels in the vicinity of the distress vessel, Falmouth Coastguard sent a distress relay message to all vessels within a 300 nautical mile radius of the fishing vessel’s position.
Falmouth was then contacted by the motor vessel ‘Ma Cho’ who was approximately 80 nautical miles from the sinking vessels position and she was asked to proceed to the site of the sinking. The research vessel ‘Thomas G Thompson’ was also requested to proceed but it was clear that due to the distances both vessels would take up to 12 hours to arrive at the distress position.
The ‘Tolirova’ was eventually assisted this morning by the fishing vessel the ‘Playa Muino Vello’ who successfully rescued all 20 persons from the sinking fishing vessel.
Watch Manager Andy Cattrell said
“We were very pleased to assist our colleagues in Chile when we picked up the distress call. This incident proves the real value of satellite communications in the co-ordination of long range search and rescue operations. We are delighted all were rescued and will be reunited at this time of year with their families.”
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