Winds stall rescue of crew on ship facing Ike

September 12, 2008 12:34:56 PM PDT
Hurricane Ike's winds have thwarted a rescue attempt for the crew of a freighter stranded in the Gulf of Mexico. The Coast Guard says that the five Coast Guard and Air Force aircraft, hauling rescue swimmers, were forced to land in Lake Charles, Louisiana.

Petty Officer Tom Atkeson tells The Associated Press that the planes encountered winds of 80 knots or about 92 miles-per-hour when they reached the freighter. At that point, the ship was adrift about 120 miles southeast of Galveston, Texas. The strong winds were above the safety parameters for a rescue attempt.

Twenty-two men are aboard the 584-foot freighter Antalina, which sent out a radio distress call early this morning.

Atkeson says the Coast Guard is in contact with the crewmen and might be able to relaunch a rescue attempt later.