Soviet Freighter Rescues Kate-Stranded Sailing Students With PM-Kate Bjt
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (AP) _ One of five people rescued from Hurricane Kate by a Soviet freighter called his saviors ″some of the friendliest people″ he ever met, his wife said.
The five, four students and a teacher from a Fort Lauderdale sailing school, were rescued Monday by the 150-foot Soviet cargo ship Capitan Stulov from 25-foot waves churned by Kate, said U.S. Coast Guard Seaman Edmund Pope on Tuesday.
In a Tuesday afternoon rescue, a U.S. Navy vessel found the disabled 50- foot sailboat Passion and its two passengers, who were reported missing earlier while on their way to U.S. medical facilities at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, a Coast Guard spokesman said.
The Fort Lauderdale group was rescued about 3:25 p.m. EST Monday after the Capitan Stulov, en route to Bermuda, picked up a distriss signal from the 39- foot sloop Maihai, Pope said.
The stranded sailors were floating 15 miles southeast of Cape Florida at the southern tip of Key Biscayne.
The freighter’s crew tried to tow the Maihai, but 25-foot seas forced it to abandon the sloop, crippled by lost sails and an overheated engine. The sloop was found beached in Hollywood, Fla., early Tuesday, Pope said.
The Maihai’s passengers were dropped off at Freeport, Bahamas, said Coast Guard spokesman Lt. Jim Simpson.
Gaylene Zoller, wife of student Ray Zoller, said her husband called her from Freeport to report that he was safe.
″He said the Russians were some of the friendliest people he had ever met,″ she said.
The other students were identifed as Daniel Guy of Stuart, Joan Peck of Chapel Hill, N.C., and Darrel Meyer of Rolling Meadows, Ill.
Representatives of the Fort Lauderdale International School of Sailing said a teacher, Capt. Harry Furey, also was aboard for the planned seven-day trip, begun before Kate became a threat.
″He’s a good captain,″ said Barry Smith, a partner in the school. ″We don’t really know what happened to them. They heard about the hurricane and were on their way back to safe harbor when something happened.″
In the other rescue, a Coast Guard C-130 aircraft located the drifting Passion early Tuesday afternoon near Crooked Island in the southeast Bahamas, Simpson said. The boat’s sails had been knocked out by 70-knot winds.
The passengers, both men, were slightly injured, Simpson said.