A combined Coast Guard and Air force rescue operation began Monday, August 12 when Alcyone, a Hinckley 42 believed to be returning from Hawaii after racing in the Pacific Cup, made a distress call when two of the five-person crew fell ill with “severe intestinal distress.” Coast Guard District 11, based in Alameda, Calif., using the AMVER (Automated Mutual-assistance Vessel Rescue) system, tasked an 800-foot cargo ship, Automobile Ace to the scene. At 5:30 Monday afternoon, Automobile Ace arrived at Alcyone‘s location and removed Paul Myers, 56, and John McGuire, 67. John McGuire is listed on the Pacific Cup website (www.pacificcup.org) as being the captain and navigator of race entry Alcyone.
Once the two men were transferred, Automobile Ace began steaming toward a rendezvous with the Coast Guard Cutter Steadfast. The Coast Guard then dispatched an Air Force para-rescue team C-130 from Kirkland Air Force Base, N.M., to assist in stabilizing the condition of the patients. The three-person para-rescue team arrived over Automobile Ace at 3:30 Tuesday afternoon, jumped into the water from the aircraft, and boarded the cargo vessel. Subsequent to the retrieval of the para-rescue team and not associated with that operation, a crewmember of the U.S.-flagged Automobile Ace fell overboard and was killed. The name of the crewmember has not been released.
As of Thursday afternoon, sources at the Coast Guard District 11 headquarters (www.uscg.mil/pacarea/pcp/newsreleases/2002/aug/2602.htm) report that both crewmembers of Alcyone are being treated at the Stanford University medical center outside San Francisco.