Niklas Carlberg and Karin Wiger arrived in Delaware after being
rescued. *Photo courtesy of  the
News Journal
Niklas Carlberg and Karin Wiger arrived in Delaware after being rescued. *Photo courtesy of the News Journal

Two Swedes who were saved from a sinking sailboat arrived at the port of Wilmington on Monday, according to a Delaware newspaper.

The pair were struggling in rough seas in their boat Bull about 150 miles southwest of Bermuda when they were rescued.

The News Journal reports that Niklas Carlberg, 35, and Karin Wiger, 24, were rescued by a Panamanian-flagged merchant vessel called Crown Sapphire carrying fruit from Argentina to Wilmington.

Mr Carlberg, according to that paper, is a professional skydiver. The two were on a three-month voyage home from Florida.

The pair had been sailing to St George’s. The boat, however, was reported to be taking in significant amounts of water around 3:45pm Saturday, at which time the rescue beacon was activated.

Mr Carlberg told the paper that the vessel had been taking on water for four days while the boat battled 35-40 knot winds; on the same day they were forced to abandon their ship, gale force winds battered Bermuda.

Mr Carlberg added that there was not much eating or sleeping. However, when one of the two bilge pumps that were keeping the ship afloat stopped working, that’s when Mr Carlberg sent out a distress signal, according to The News Journal.

The Crown Sapphire, a 10,000-ton refrigerated cargo ship, was part of a volunteer global ship reporting system that is used around the world to help those who are in trouble out to sea.

The program is called Automated Mutual Assistance Rescue System (Amver); about 7,000 vessels participate in the program throughout the globe. The Crown Sapphire has been involved in similar rescue situations in the past, according to the Coast Guard.

Watchstanders at the Fifth Coast Guard District in Portsmouth, Va., began rescue coordination efforts.

A search plan crew took off from North Carolina, but returned once it was established the Crown Sapphire was altering its course to help Mr Carlberg and Ms Wiger, according to a statement from the Coast Guard.

Perfect “This case is a perfect example of why equipping your vessel with a properly- registered EPIRB (emergency position-indicating radio beacon) can pay off so well,” said Captain Kathleen Moore, the commander of Coast Guard Sector Delaware Bay, through a statement. “The operators of the sailing vessel Bull owe their lives to this $400 piece of equipment and to the crew of the Crown Sapphire.” The crew of that ship, however, could not dispatch a life boat to help the Swedes because of strong winds and rough seas.

Instead, the duo was instructed to abandon the 33-foot Bull for the life raft, which was then towed alongside the cargo ship.

The Bull was not the only Bermuda-bound vessel that ran into trouble over the weekend. Bermuda Radio was also maintaining contact with the 53-foot Swiss-registered sloop Ketupa. That vessel left Miami for Bermuda with three people on board. It ran into steering problems because of a rudder failure and had lost her boom.