POLITICS
04/14/2012 05:40 EDT | Updated 06/14/2012 05:12 EDT

U.S. Coast Guard crew set to commemorate Titanic diverted to help French boat

ST. JOHN'S, N.L. - A U.S. Coast Guard plane scheduled to take part in a Titanic commemoration event off Newfoundland had to be diverted Saturday to help a French sail boat.

The HC-130J plane's flight crew was in St. John's preparing for a ceremony to drop five wreaths over the site where the Titanic sank when they were dispatched to drop supplies including a pump and radio.

The U.S. Coast Guard said it was notified by a rescue co-ordination centre in France at around 7:30 a.m. ET that the rudder of a 12-metre sailing vessel was leaking but the boat was still buoyant.

There were three people aboard the boat when it encountered trouble about 2,100 kilometres east of Boston.

The coast guard said a Spanish fishing vessel that was also later diverted rescued the sailors.

They were not injured.