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Container ship rescues Aussie sailor off Christmas Island

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A container ship Monday night picked up a 58-year-old Australian sailor who requested help near Christmas Island after becoming too tired to continue, the Coast Guard reported.

The Australian was piloting the sailing vessel Folly II and was approximately 443 miles from Christmas Island, the Republic of Kiribati at 6:11 a.m. Monday when he reported that his vessel’s autopilot failed.

After manually navigating the vessel for four weeks, he had become too fatigued to continue, the Coast Guard said.

The Coast Guard immediately launched HC-130 Hercules airplane from Air Station Barbers Point and established communications with the sailor. A second Hercules was launched later the same day to provide cover during the rescue

The crew aboard the container vessel Kota Wang picked up the sailor and said he was in good condition. The sailor had left California and was headed to Christmas Island.

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