Two Sailors Rescued after 10 Days in US Mid-Atlantic

Two sailors have been returned to New York from the Atlantic Ocean after being rescued at sea from their disabled boat by a commercial ship following a two-day search.

In a statement, the U.S. Coast Guard said the two men, 65-year-old Kevin Hyde and 76-year-old Joe Ditomasso, got the attention of a passing gasoline tanker, the Silver Muna, Tuesday by waiving their arms. They had been stranded in the Atlantic about 320 kilometers off the coast of the U.S. State of Delaware.

The Coast Guard report says the men were brought aboard the ship after a more than two-day search by both Coast Guard and U.S. Navy airplanes, helicopters and “multiple commercial and recreational vessels…”

The search area covered 34,000 square kilometers of sea, from northern Florida to New Jersey.

The statement said once on board the Silver Muna, the men were found to be in relatively good health and they stayed on the ship until it reached its destination of New York City.

The Coast Guard said the two men had left Cape May, NJ for Florida in their nine-meter sailboat November 27th. They last contacted their families December 3rd as they departed North Carolina.

At a news conference in New York, Hyde told reporters everything was going “hunky dory” (very well) the day they left the North Carolina’s Outer Banks port of Oregon Inlet. But as night fell and they approached Cape Hatteras, a storm moved in, blew them off course, and destroyed their mast.

Ditomasso said the mast came down in seas more than 12 meters high, which he described as “mountains.” He credited the sailboat’s heavy lead keel with keeping it steady and upright through the storm.

The Coast Guard said it was contacted Dec. 11th by the men’s families after they had not heard from them and the search was initiated.

The men credited the crew of the commercial ship for spotting them in the still-heavy seas and for their skill in bringing a 600-meter craft close enough to their boat for a rescue. A dog was also rescued.

Some information for this report was provided by The Associated Press.

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