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Tahiti Bell Rescue

International Press Release
Date: Thursday, 22 January 2009
Timing: Immediate
Contact: info@gme.net.au
Subject: GME Accusat™ EPIRB alert saves veteran sailor


Six days into the passage from the Azores to Falmouth and in gale force 7 conditions experienced solo yachtsman Nick Bartham was woken from his sleep by a sudden crash as the 31’ tri-maran came to a shuddering halt as he was thrown from his bunk and showered by the contents of the cabin. Clambering on deck he was greeted by the sickening sight of the vessel’s badly damaged starboard float, partially submerged and rapidly filling with water.  Whilst not in immediate danger of sinking, the Tahiti Belle was completely un-sailable and essentially a floating wreck.

Bartham, 72, a highly competent and well prepared sailor, realised that the risk of hypothermia was the most imminent danger he faced, so with minimal hesitation he activated his GME MT400 EPIRB.

The UK Marine Rescue Coordination Centre in Falmouth quickly picked up the MT400 emergency signal, verified the registration details through the emergency contacts, The Coastguard then contacted all shipping in the vicinity seeking assistance for the stricken Tahiti Belle. The Omega Princess, a 184 metre Majuro registered tanker also bound for Falmouth, responded and was eventually able to make radio contact and effect a successful rescue in the extreme conditions.

GME has been designing and manufacturing emergency beacons in Australia for over 30 years. GME products are distributed and supported around the world by a network of specialist dealers and service centres. For additional information please visit www.gme.net.au