Dom Mee, maritime explorer, has been rescued off Newfoundland while attempting to become the first person to cross an ocean on a kite vessel
Dom Mee, maritime explorer, has been rescued in the Flemish Cap area, 400 miles off the coast of Newfoundland, while attempting to become the first person to cross an ocean on a kite vessel.
Mee, who set sail from St John’s Newfoundland on 18 August bound for Exmouth in Devon aboard Little Murka, a modified 14ft Bosun dinghy hull, hit a particularly nasty low pressure system yesterday with winds reaching 70 knots and was forced activate his EPIRB.
Mike Broughton, navigator and weather router explained: “We had been tracking this particular storm for about five days using the latest high definition GRIB data available, it was a very nasty low pressure system, in my last text message to Dom I told him to prepare himself for the worst, the storm was heading straight for him and would peak in intensity at his position at 1400 hr Sunday, the conditions must have been absolutely horrendous, huge seas and 60 knots gusting up to 70 knots.”
Adrian Wibrew – Project Manager – received a call yesterday from Falmouth Coast Guard informing him that Little Murka’s EPIRB (Emergency position indicating radio beacon) had been activated; indicating that Dom was in grave and imminent danger.
Falmouth Coast Guard had been contacted by JRCC (Joint Rescue Co-ordination Centre) Halifax advising them of the activation and were seeking further information. At that time JRCC Halifax broadcasted a ‘Maritime Assistance Request’ to all shipping in the area for assistance.
Adrian made contact with JRCCs and answered their questions about the last known status of Dom, his vessel ‘Little Murka’ and the emergency equipment on board. A Hercules rescue aircraft, Rescue 313, was launched which was tracking ‘Little Murka’s’ EPIRB GPS signal.
In turn Dom’s PLB (Personal Locater Beacon) had also been activated suggesting that Dom had been forced from his vessel highlighting the need for urgent rescue.
The duty watch keeper at Halifax informed Adrian: “The adverse sea state and storm conditions were less than perfect for a rescue attempt. Dom is in the worst possible place he could be in the North Atlantic; it could take some time to get to him. He is in a massive storm with 60 knot winds and experiencing mountainous swell, however we will do our best.”
It took some time for Rescue 313 – a Hercules aircraft – to locate ‘Little Murka’, however, there was no sign of Dom. After circling for some time, unable to go lower than 50ft because of the waves, Dom emerged from his cabin and waved at the aircraft.
Having identified that Dom was aboard and on deck the crew dropped an emergency assistance package; including life raft, food, water and radios. Dom fought to secure these and subsequently contacted the rescue team.
Overnight, bulk container ship Berge Nord responded to the ‘Maritime assistance request’ and made its way to Dom’s co-ordinates. In turn ‘Rescue 313’ has been replaced by the aircraft ‘Rescue 116’ while the Canadian Coastguard Vessel Cygnus was on route to assist.
The latest news at lunchtime today is that Dom is now safely aboard Cygnus with Murka in tow and heading back to St Johns.