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New Jersey Woman Survives 14 Days On Dinghy After Sailboat Sinks In Ocean

July 30, 1989

NEW YORK (AP) _ A woman who spent 14 days in an inflatable life raft in the Atlantic Ocean was rescued Sunday halfway between New York and Bermuda, but her sailing partner was presumed dead.

Janet Culver, 48, of Passaic, N.J., was pulled from the dinghy which she and Nicholas Abbott, 50, had climbed into after their 37-foot sailboat Anaulis sank on July 16, said Coast Guard Lt. j.g. Matthew Wannamaker.

Ms. Culver told authorities that Abbott, apparently suffering from exhaustion and fatigue, climbed out of the four-person inflatable raft Wednesday without a life jacket, he said.

″He seemed disillusioned, maybe even slightly deranged, according to Ms. Culver,″ Wannamaker said.

Ms. Culver was rescued by the U.S. research vessel, Jeronimo, Sunday morning 450 miles southeast of New York.

Wannamaker said the Coast Guard did not yet know what caused the sailboat to sink.

Ms. Culver was suffering from exhaustion, exposure and sunburn but otherwise was sleeping and doing well, Wannamaker said.

″We haven’t been able to get much information out of her,″ Wannamaker said.

He said the Royal Viking Star, a cruise ship, was expected to take Ms. Culver aboard Sunday afternoon because it has full medical facilities.

The Guard had been searching for the pair since July 23 and had alerted vessels in the area to be on the watch for the sailboat.

The search for Abbott was suspended Sunday and it was presumed he had drowned.

″He’s been in the water four days, did not have a life preserver and was observed to have slumped over by Ms. Culver,″ Wannamaker said.

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