Atlantic Ocean: Help Came Too Late

Help Came Too Late

The Philippine cargo ship Balsa 24 was plowing through the turbulent waters of the North Atlantic last week when it encountered a violent storm. Lashed by pelting rain and battered by 35-to-50-knot winds and 50-ft. waves, the vessel foundered 1,120 miles east of New York. Its 19-member crew frantically radioed an SOS, then clambered into a lifeboat.

Almost 15 hours passed before the first rescue ship -- a Panamanian & freighter, the Friasi -- could reach the scene. It was followed by the Scamp, a nuclear-powered Navy submarine, which managed to pull one sailor to safety. Two more ships, including an...