AFM coordinates French sailor's rescue
A man whose sailing boat sank yesterday was rescued by a tanker and then winched to an Italian Coast Guard helicopter and transported to Catania.
The Armed Forces of Malta said it was alerted to the incident via a satellite-based alerting system at 11.30 p.m. yesterday by the French Rescue and Coordination Centre Gris-Nez.
A personal locator beacon pinpointed the sailor to a position 85 nautical miles north east of Grand Harbour.
The AFM immediately initiated a distress relay broadcast informing all merchant shipping transiting the area to keep a sharp lookout and assist as necessary.
The Italian-registered tanker FT Quinto responded to the message and was directed by the AFM to proceed to the designated location.
At 3.05 a.m. the master of the Quinto reported that his crew had located a man on a small life-raft.
He stated that he had to abandon his boat having activated his personal locator emergency beacon. Subsequent to close coordination between the AFM Operations Centre and the Italian authorities, the man was winched from the tanker by an Italian Coast Guard helicopter and transported to Catania.