The solo rower spent weeks aboard a life raft before his rescue.
An ocean rower on a voyage around the world was rescued by the crew of a crude oil tanker last Friday, weeks after the South Pacific battery failed, the US Coast Guard said.
The Rescue Coordination Center (RCC) New Zealand was first informed of the distress at 6:30 a.m. on 28 May. The report revealed that the ocean-going rower, smileswas in need of assistance with one person on board after the battery, navigation and communications systems were lost due to waves during a South Pacific crossing.
It appears the seafarer has been posting about his trip on social media, which has led to his fans reaching out to RCC New Zealand of their concerns.
Following the notification, RCC New Zealand contacted RCC Alameda for assistance, which then diverted two merchant vessels Voyager and the Mandalayto help with the search.
On May 31, JRCC Tahiti assumed primary responsibility for search and rescue after further alerts were received for the ship in distress some 1,240 nautical miles northeast of Tahiti. JRCC Tahiti urged three nearby merchant vessels to join the search while a safety net transmission continued.
A U.S. Coast Guard Air Station Barbers Point HC-130 Hercules crew, participating in a separate search and rescue mission in Tahiti, flew in four hours before arriving at the scene and located the aircraft’s captain smiles inside a liferaft and carrying out equipment drop-offs.
In all, the Coast Guard crew recovered three items of life-saving equipment, including food rations, life rafts and communications equipment.
Around 13:08 last Friday, the merchant ship baker’s spirit rescued the sailor
more than two weeks after boarding his life raft. The sailor is now in stable condition en route to Oahu.
The rower is Aaron “Adventure Aaron” Carotta, who began the voyage in October 2021.
“This latest search and rescue operation is a testament to the unwavering commitment and remarkable capabilities of our international partners,” said Joshua Birkner, Petty Officer 1st Class, a search and rescue officer at Coast Guard District 14. “The result of this search.” and rescue event underscores the importance of effective communication between our partners in the Pacific, the diligence of our aircrew and the helpfulness of seafarers.”