The U.S. Coast Guard made international news this weekend with the Friday rescue of five people from a disabled sailboat about 220 miles off Hatteras.
One of those rescued has been reported by national and international media as prominent millionaire Brian Cohen, an original investor in Pinterest. Some of the other four rescued were said to be members of his family.
According to a Coast Guard news release, watchstanders at the Coast Guard 5th District Command Center in Portsmouth received notification at approximately 1:50 p.m. on Friday that the 55-foot catamaran Rain Maker, homeported in Manhattan, New York, suffered a broken mast in approximate 40-mph winds and 13-foot seas roughly 200 miles southeast of Cape Hatteras.
The Coast Guard issued an urgent marine information broadcast and prepared to launch aircrews to respond.
The crew aboard the approximately 350-foot cargo ship Ocean Crescent responded to the emergency beacon, stating they were located approximately 40 miles from the distressed sailboat and were diverting to respond.
An MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew and a C-130 Hercules airplane crew, both from Coast Guard Air Station Elizabeth City, N.C., were launched at about 3:20 p.m.
The Ocean Crescent crew arrived on scene at approximately 4:05 p.m. and unsuccessfully attempted to come alongside Rain Maker.
The Coast Guard helicopter crew arrived on scene at approximately 5 p.m. and hoisted all five people. The five boaters were transported to Dare County Regional Airport in Manteo and arrived at approximately 8:10 p.m. in good condition.
“The mission today was challenging for our crews due to the distance from shore and the weather conditions,” said Petty Officer 1st Class Allen Facenda, an operations specialist in Portsmouth who worked on the case, in the news release. “The crew we rescued had a registered and up-to-date emergency position indicating radio beacon that told us their exact position. All five people were wearing life jackets and were prepared to abandon their vessel in a life raft. We were happy to get there before that became necessary.”
The $2.5 million luxury catamaran, Rain Maker, was profiled in Forbes magazine last year.
According to Forbes, the boat can sail more than 30 mph. The enormous mainsail of the boat is made of 1,300 square feet of high-tech fabric. It has a computer-designed shape that can handle a broad range of wind. The boat’s cabin top is covered with solar cells that help charge an 800-watt electrical system that gives power to computer navigation screens, electric winches, and a marine audio system.
The yacht is reported to have two staterooms with interiors designed by Italian yacht-design firm Nauta Yachts, a 200 square-foot salon with coaches and Italian style flooring, and a kitchen that even has a pizza oven.
Cohen told Forbes he didn’t get into sailing until he was 42-years-old.
‘I didn’t know a mast from a boom,’ Cohen, now reportedly an avid sailor, said.