Since 1985, Max Young has sailed his Perry 50, Reflections, around the world. He survived storm, calm, tsunami and pirates off Indonesia. His voyage came to an end early Wednesday morning off Baja in the Pacific, 40 miles west of La Playa, Mexico, when a breaching whale struck his sail boat. The whale disabled the boat’s steering and damaged the hull. Unable to steer and with the boat taking on water, Young, 66, who was single-handing on a voyage from Central America, activated his EPIRB. The US Coast Guard dispatched a Hercules Long Range Surveillance Aircraft and vectored the Ocean Virgo, a Panamanian-flagged merchant ship, participating in the Automated Mutual-Assistance Vessel Rescue System (AMVER), to Young’s position. The Ocean Virgo picked up Max Young at around 4AM Wednesday.
Sacramento Man Rescued After Whale Collision
When things went wrong, Young did everything right. From the Coast Guard press release:
“The fact that Young was prepared with all the right safety equipment helped save his life,” said Lt. Charles Kelly, a watchstander at the command center. “His EPIRB delivered an exact position to us, contact information that allowed us to quickly discern the sail plan of and number of persons on the vessel, and really took a lot of the search out of the search and rescue.”
“Many successful long-range rescues are a result of the vessels who voluntarily participate in the AMVER system, and the professional mariners who sail them.” said Rear Admiral Joseph “Pepe” Castillo, 11th Coast Guard District commander. “Mr. Young’s rescue is a perfect example of the impact and importance of Coast Guard partnerships with the maritime community.”
To read more about Max Young’s travels on Reflections see: