- The Washington Times - Monday, May 9, 2005

PORTSMOUTH, Va. (AP) — One of two sailors who abandoned their boat in rough seas hundreds of miles off the Virginia coast was pulled to safety on a merchant ship early yesterday and the other’s body was found soon afterward, the Coast Guard said.

Lochlin Reidy, 58, of Woodbridge, Conn., was found about 400 miles east of Virginia Beach at about 4 a.m. after a C-130 Coast Guard plane saw a strobe light in the ocean and flew over the area to check on it, said Petty Officer 2nd Class Krys Hannum, a Coast Guard spokeswoman.

She said Mr. Reidy was found nearby and was taken aboard the Sakura Express, a Panamanian-flagged tanker that was one of four merchant vessels searching for the men since early Sunday. The tanker, with Mr. Reidy, was scheduled to sail into Boston Harbor today.

The body of Thomas Tighe, of Patterson, N.Y., was discovered at 5:45 a.m. and was recovered by the crew of the Sakura Express, the Coast Guard said.

Mr. Tighe activated an emergency beacon, and he and Mr. Reidy were preparing a life raft to evacuate the crew members when they were washed overboard from the 45-foot sailboat Almeisan in 16- to 20-foot seas, Officer Hannum said.

The Coast Guard received the electronic distress beacon from the boat at 6 a.m. Sunday, Petty Officer Hannum said.

Three other sailors who stayed aboard the boat were airlifted by a Coast Guard helicopter to Nantucket, Mass., the closest land point, at about 7:30 p.m. Sunday.

The three told the Coast Guard that Mr. Tighe and Mr. Reidy got into a life raft that broke from the boat. The first merchant ship that arrived on the scene found the life raft empty.

The five were on a voyage from Bridgeport, Conn., to Bermuda when they encountered the severe weather, including wind topping 35 mph.

Mr. Tighe’s family said he was a seasoned sailor who had sailed to Bermuda many times.

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