Army Vessel Rescues Civilian From Sinking Sailboat


MARYSVILLE, Wash. -- The Army Reserve vessel USAV Robert T. Kuroda, responded to a U.S. Coast Guard request for assistance in the rescue of a civilian on a disabled sailboat, near San Nicholas Island, Calif., July 9, 2012.

The U.S. Coast Guard sector Los Angeles received a distress call from the sailboat and determined that the Army vessel was the closest vessel to the boat.

The crew of the Kuroda, with the 805th Transportation Company from Tacoma, Wash., began the search a little after midnight and located the disabled vessel at about 1 a.m. The crew rescued the individual on board, Michael Harris, and the Army medic treated him for mild hypothermia before he was safely conveyed to Port Hueneme, near Vallejo, Calif., with no further medical care required.

Harris, from Ventura, Calif., said he had been caught in a dangerous storm that created waves 10-15 feet high and which battered his boat.

The sailboat, named Nacht Vlinder, or the Night Butterfly, was partially submerged underwater, and was deemed to be in an unsafe condition. The Nacht Vlinder sunk as the Kuroda was leaving the scene. The Army Reserve crew did a full risk vs. gain analysis and looked for any way to recover the vessel, but determined in the end that it would not be effective to do so.

The 805th TC Company reports to the 364th Expeditionary Support Command in Marysville, Wash., which commands 4,000 Soldiers in logistical units across the northwestern United States.

One of only eight of its kind in the Army, the Kuroda is a "roll-on roll-off" vessel used to transport heavy equipment and other bulky items. It is capable of discharging a payload of 2,000 short tons, including 15 main battle tanks directly onto unimproved beaches and ports using large, retractable bow ramps.

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