Missing US sailors rescued by Chinese tanker crew

Atrevida II

A massive search for two missing sailors and a pet dog has been called off, after a chemical tanker successfully located the men and their sailboat on the eastern US coast.

The US Coastguard reports that the Hong Kong-registered tanker Silver Muna located sailing vessel Atrevida II on Tuesday (13 December 2022), approximately 214 miles east of Delaware.

The two sailors, 65-year-old Kevin Hyde and 76-year-old Joe Ditomasso, had last been in contact with family and friends on 3 December 2022 when they departed Oregon Inlet, North Carolina. Hyde and Ditomasso were travelling aboard Atrevida II from Cape May, New Jersey to Marathon, Florida.

The pair were officially reported missing on 11 December, following a week of radio silence. The Coastguard launched a major search and rescue operation, contacting vessels in the area in an attempt to locate Atrevida II. The Coastguard launched multiple aircraft and cutters to search for the missing sailboat, and recruited Navy vessels in the search area. Altogether, the search spanned a combined 21,164 square miles of water, spanning from northern Florida to the waters east of New Jersey.

Hyde and Ditomasso reportedly gained the attention of the Silver Muna crew by waving their arms and a flag. The Atrevida II was found to be without fuel and power, rendering their radios and navigation equipment inoperable.

Atrevida II

Hyde, Ditomasso, and a pet dog were all brought aboard Silver Muna at 4.18 p.m local time. They were evaluated by the vessel’s medical staff and no injuries reported. Hyde and Ditomasso will now remain aboard Silver Muna as it proceeds to its next port of call in New York, where they will be transferred to a Coastguard vessel for further evaluation and to be reunited with family.

“This is an excellent example of the maritime community’s combined efforts to ensure the safety of life at sea,” says Cmdr. Daniel Schrader, spokesperson for Coastguard Atlantic Area. “We are overjoyed with the outcome of the case and look forward to reuniting Mr. Hyde and Mr. Ditomasso with their family and friends.

“We also want to highlight the importance of proper safety equipment and preparedness when going to sea. Having an emergency position indicating radio beacon, or ‘EPIRB’, allows mariners to immediately make contact with first responders in an emergency.”

In November, the US Coastguard rescued a cruise ship passenger who fell overboard and spent over 15 hours in the water in the Gulf of Mexico. He’d seemingly waved a sock above his head in a desperate attempt to attract attention.

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