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ARRL General Bulletin ARLB002 (2007)

ARLB002 California ham has role in sea rescue

QST de W1AW  
ARRL Bulletin 2  ARLB002
From ARRL Headquarters  
Newington CT  January 9, 2007
To all radio amateurs 

ARLB002 California ham has role in sea rescue

A California radio amateur played a part in an international effort
to rescue a US sailor attempting to single-handedly circumnavigate
the globe. Miguel ''Mike'' Morales, KC6CYK, of Riverside, told ARRL he
was able to contact fellow radio amateurs in Chile to obtain and
relay reassuring information to the family of Ken Barnes, whose
44-foot ketch Pivateer was foundering off South America. A Chilean
trawler, Polar Pesca 1, rescued Barnes from his disabled vessel on
January 5. Upon learning of Barnes's predicament on January 2,
Morales said he contacted the sailor's fiance, Cathy Chambers.

''She mentioned that the satellite telephone was dying on him over
there, so their communication was 30 to 60 seconds at a time,''
Morales recounted. ''I was lucky enough, I got in touch with some of
the Charlie Echo [CE-prefix] stations until I got to someone in
Punta Arenas, and then Polar Pesca, the vessel that did the rescue.''
Morales speaks fluent Spanish and has visited Chile and knew ''the
way things operate down there.'' As a result, he says, he was able to
obtain credible reports via his 10-meter contacts as to what was

Morales said he was able to gather information via his Chilean ham
radio contacts from the Polar Pesca 1. He relayed information about
Barnes's location and when he was going to be rescued. Morales said
he felt it was important for the family to know Barnes's situation
and how the rescue plans were playing out.

Barnes, who's 47, left Long Beach, California, late last October,
hoping to be the first person to sail around the world from the West
Coast. A severe storm dismasted, badly damaged the vessel and soaked
his supplies.

The Chilean Navy dispatched one of the CP3 Orion aircraft Chile uses
to patrol its 200-mile-offshore territorial claim. The plane spotted
the foundering vessel, photographed it and even attempted to drop a
life raft that missed its mark. The Chilean Navy coordinated the
operation and recruited the Polar Pesca 1 to undertake the actual
rescue, although Morales says the US Coast Guard agreed to cover the
expense. At that point he was able to pass along news to the family
that the trawler was en route to Barnes's location.

''The main thing is, Ken Barnes is back, is alive,'' Morales said.
''What I did was on behalf of the US ham radio community, I believe.
That's what you're there for.''

Barnes is scheduled to return home to California this week, and
Morales will be among those on hand to welcome him.


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