February 25, 2020 – The timely reaction of Colombian Navy Units, allowed to safeguard the lives of two Canadians, who were adrift, after the sailboat “Exception” of the Canadian flag, suffered failures in its propellant engine, in Colombian Pacific waters.
The facts were announced through communications between Coast Guard District number 11 of the United States and the Colombian Navy Operations Center; immediately the ARC Corvette “Nariño” and a Rapid Reaction Unit of Coast Guard of the Pacific Naval Force, proceeded to the execution of the Search and Rescue operation with the purpose of safeguarding human life at sea.
The search for the two crew members was carried out for five days and the rescue and assistance took place 104 nautical miles from the Port of Buenaventura.
Once the inspection and registration visit by crew members of the Colombian Navy was carried out, it was possible to verify the good health of the rescued.
According to the version reported by the men identified as Gilles Hammel and Timothy Mc Cune, both 63 years old, who on January 15, sailed from Los Angeles – California in the United States, arrived in Costa Rica and were heading to Panama . The incident was recorded on February 15, adding up to the time of rescue, five days offshore.
“We lost our engine on February 10, there was no wind, so we could not go anywhere. Then we got plenty of wind and we could go north, hoping to get to Colombia. At that moment the brother of the Captain called and said that we needed help. This morning you arrived, you realized you had the engine, you gave us food, you gave us water and you gave us your friendship. Thank you, thank you, “said Timothy Mc Cune.
Despite the adverse meteomarine conditions, these two people, along with the sailboat were escorted by the Colombian Navy units, to the Buenaventura pier.
The Colombian Navy reaffirms its commitment to safeguard human life at sea, by providing Units and training for its men to deal with any emergency that arises and that puts human integrity at risk. At the same time, it calls on the community in general to implement safety measures during navigation, especially the use of the life jacket and to report any emergency on telephone line 146 or Channel 16 VHF Marine.