WHOI Statement on the R/V Atlantis Rescue at Sea of 93 Egyptians

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The research vessel Atlantis, operated by Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI), rescued 93 Egyptians aboard a disabled fishing boat in the Mediterranean Sea late Friday night (Nov. 25).

Atlantis was commencing an oceanographic research expedition, steaming toward its first study site, when it was diverted by a mayday call at 9 p.m. from a fishing boat that was relayed to all nearby ships by the Greek Coast Guard. Atlantis responded to the call and began the rescue, coordinating with the Greek Coast Guard and the Rescue Coordination Center.

Following standard security procedures, Atlantis Captain A.D. Colburn III raised the ship’s U.S. Coast Guard Maritime Security Level from I to II and took protective measures to secure non-crew members inside the vessel, locking all exterior hatches and portholes before boarding the Egyptians.

By midnight, all 93 men were aboard the deck of Atlantis, a ship that had 50 crew, technicians, and scientists aboard. The fishing boat was abandoned with its lights and power on, its position radioed to the Greek Coast Guard.  Read more

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