The "Pacific Meltem" rescued three castaways after the sinking of the three masted s/v "Doña Matilda", The ship had sailed from Bonaire to Aruba on Dec 17, 2015, but had not arrived there.
A Dash-8 patrol aircraft of the Caribic Coastguard took off to locate the vessel. On Dec 19 the crew of the drill ship reported that they had taken a drowning person on board and that there were three more castaways clinging to the anchor chain.
Yet another floated clinging to a buoy at the rear of the ship which was about five miles southwest of Aruba. The Coastguard cutter "Panther" and a helicopter were taskedto proceed to the area. The helicopter hoisted the man who was drifintg behind the ship.
He had serious injuries because he was bitten by a shark and deceased on arrival at Aruba. Meanwhile, the "Panther" also reached the area and pulled the other three castaways from the water. They had clung to a palette and a refrigerator.
All three were exhausted and had minor injuries. The "Panther" headed towards Paardenbaai, Oranjestad, where an ambulance was waiting. Then the "Panther" returned to the drill ship to retrieve another man who was transferred to the ambulance personnel too.
It turned out that the "Doña Matilda" had seven Venezuelans on board when during the crossing a big wave hit the stern.
The barque immediately started to sink. Two of the crew members were unable to escaped from the vessel.
Source : SN-TR.