He was sinking after breaking the mast. German sailor rescued by an Italian tanker


Give or treat yourself to a subscription to the print + digital Journal of Sailing and for only 69 euros a year you get the magazine at home plus read it on your PC, smartphone and tablet. With a sea of advantages.

German sailor rescuedAn 81-year-old German solo sailor, who was sinking after breaking his mast 400 miles south of Long Island (New York) with his 36-foot ketch Katharina, was rescued by the Italian tanker Mare Picenum.


The U.S. Coast Guard received a report at 4:52 a.m. on 16 June that the boat was at the mercy of 35-knot winds and waves of almost two metres and was taking on water, and immediately sent an aircraft to the scene. Once in the area, the aircraft was able to establish communication with the Katharina, noting the good health of the elderly sailor who, as you can see from the photo below, had already set up the inflatable raft to await rescue but was still on board.


An SOS message was sent to all the ships registered with AMVER, the voluntary rescue system promoted by the US Coast Guard: the first to respond was the Italian-flagged tanker Mare Picenum (274 x 48 m, built in 2011), 25 miles away, which agreed to change course to go to the site.

The Italian tanker Mare Picenum
The Italian tanker Mare Picenum

The crew of the Mare Picenum received the notification at about 9:30 and rescued the sailor at 12:54 after a perfect approach manoeuvre.


AMVER is a unique, computerised and voluntary global ship reporting system used worldwide by search and rescue authorities to organize assistance to people in distress at sea. Every day there are more than 7,000 ships available to carry out search and rescue services.

The roots of AMVER (which stands for Automated Mutual-Assistance Vessel Rescue System) go back to the sinking of the Titanic in 1912.

Ships passing by the ill-fated liner were unaware that it had hit an iceberg and was sinking. Later, those who had seen the distress flares from the stricken ship admitted that they thought they were simply part of the celebrations for the maiden voyage. Even then, the need for a global rescue system was felt and discussed.

In the mid-twentieth century, the world’s commercial fleet and thriving air transport system still lacked a full-time, global emergency reporting system. On 15 April 1958, the US Coast Guard and commercial shipping representatives began discussions that led to the creation of AMVER, which became operational on 18 July 1958.

To the good fortune of many, most recently the 81-year-old German sailor.

(foto: Air Station Cape Cod)



The journalists of  Giornale della Vela, together with Motorboats and Top Yacht Design, commit themselves every day to guaranteeing quality, updated and correct information on the world of boating for free through the websites. If you appreciate our work, please support us by subscribing to our magazine. The annual subscription costs only 49 euros!


Every day, interviews, sea trials, webinars. All the sailing world, minute by minute, but on line. CLICK HERE to sign up, it’s free!



To stay updated on all the news from the world of sailing, selected by our editorial staff, subscribe to the newsletter of Giornale della Vela! It is very simple, just enter your email below, accept the Privacy Policy and click on the “Subscribe” button. This way, you will receive the best sailing news in your email twice a week! It is free and you can unsubscribe at any time, without obligation!


Once you click on the button below, check your mailbox



Accetto la Privacy Policy






Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Check out the latest issue

Are you already a subscriber?

Ultimi annunci
Our social

Sign up for our Newsletter

We give you a gift

Sailing, its stories, all boats, accessories. Sign up now for our free newsletter and receive the best news selected by the Sailing Newspaper editorial staff each week. Plus we give you one month of GdV digitally on PC, Tablet, Smartphone. Enter your email below, agree to the Privacy Policy and click the “sign me up” button. You will receive a code to activate your month of GdV for free!

Once you click on the button below check your mailbox



You may also be interested in.

Tre Golfi Sailing Week: a not-to-be-missed festival

Would you like to sail in one of the most beautiful places in the world? Join the Tre Golfi Sailing Week, the most eagerly awaited event of the year, which includes long distance and coastal races among the beautiful islands


Sign in