ACR Electronics, a Drew Marine Company, joined forces with the United States Coast Guard at the Miami International Boat Show to offer important survival advice to boaters with support from the latest member of its SurvivorClub initiative.
As part of ACR’s commitment to raising awareness about carrying a properly registered distress beacon, the leading safety equipment specialist set up a meeting between Miami resident Charles Nethersole and the Coast Guard personnel involved in his rescue following the November 2016 capsize of a sailing catamaran, named Leopard.
U.S. Coast Guard Seventh District Command Center’s Command Duty Officers Michael J. Mullen and Sean T. Connett presented Mr. Nethersole with a free ACR Electronics EPIRB, a replacement service available to all ACR SurvivorClub members. ACR Electronics Director of Marketing Mikele D’Arcangelo also handed over a new replacement Ditch Bag to Nethersole, a professional captain.
Nethersole related his harrowing story from the recent incident when the 2008 Atlantic 57 catamaran was suddenly lifted and flipped over by a likely tornadic waterspout during the night about 400nm north of the Dominican Republic while on a delivery voyage from the Chesapeake Bay to St. Maarten. The ACR Electronics GlobalFix PRO onboard was activated and the signal quickly picked up, with a U.S.C.G. aircraft dispatched within a few hours of capsize to locate the distress call.
Nethersole, who has 14 years’ experience on the Atlantic 55 and 57 catermans as well as decades of delivery and racing experience on a variety of offshore yachts, described the moment of the capsize for him and his two crew, Carolyn Bailey and Bert Juno Lewis. He said: “The true wind speed was about 18 knots, (apparent 24) and I was about to harden up when a roar from a gust of wind hit the boat. The starboard hull lifted and continued rotating over. Even though I was standing at the helm station I had no time to disengage the autopilot before I was off balance as the boat went over completely. There was a lot of crashing noise, and water pouring in through the smashed front door.”
The Leopard crew had a properly loaded ACR RapidDitch Bag with the EPIRB, a fully-charged handheld VHF, an Electronic SOS Signal and other gear. They also had two immersion suits and one survival suit to wear while waiting. Leaving the EPIRB submerged in the water in the dinghy to transmit, they eventually sighted the Coast Guard C-130 search aircraft as it passed by and dropped a flare to guide a nearby freighter, the M/V Aloe, which was directed to pick up the crew following a stressful 10 hours spent on the overturned hull.
US Coast Guard footage of the rescue can be viewed here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jpZaxlWwep4
Now in its fourth year, SurvivorClub originally launched at the Miami Boat Show and is nearing 200 members. The program provides a free replacement beacon for all its members and helps to provide compelling, first-hand evidence that 406 MHz beacons should be part of every boater’s safety kit.
For more information on ACR Electronics’ beacons and other safety equipment, go to https://www.acrartex.com/.
Social media notes:
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For further information, please contact:
ACR Media Relations
Mikele D’Arcangelo or Nichole Kalil
Tel: +1 954-862-2115/2180
Jules Riegal or Clive Bartlett
Tel: +44 (0)1202 669244
About ACR Electronics, Inc.
ACR designs and manufactures a complete line of safety and survival products under the ARTEX and ACR brand names including ELTs, EPIRBs, PLBs, AIS, SART, Strobe Lights, Life Jacket Lights, Search Lights and safety accessories. The quality management systems of this facility have been certified by TUV USA to AS9100C / ISO 9001:2008. Recognized as the world leader in safety and survival technologies, ACR and ARTEX have provided safety equipment to the aviation and marine industries as well as to the military since 1956. The company is headquartered in Fort Lauderdale, Florida and employs over 180 at its manufacturing facility.