Recent responses from Maine to New Jersey
Concern prompts search
Station Boothbay Harbor, Maine
The Coast Guard rescued a 50-year-old lobsterman after his boat became disabled and adrift in Broad Cove, Maine. Coast Guard Station Boothbay Harbor received phone calls from the man’s father and friend after he did not return from his fishing trip when expected. A 47-foot and 25-foot boat crew from Station Boothbay Harbor and two boats from the Maine Marine Patrol searched the area and found the man aboard the 24-foot lobster boat. He was not injured and the 25-foot boat crew began towing his boat to Thomaston, Maine. (Sept. 30)
Safety gear enables rescue
Sector Northern New England, Maine
A kayaker was home safe because of survival equipment he carried with him while kayaking on the Sheepscot River. The man used a handheld radio to call the Coast Guard for help when he was forced to swim to shore in 53-degree water after his kayak overturned near Reversing Falls. Once ashore, the man informed the Sector Northern New England command center staff that he was handicapped and he feared he was experiencing hypothermia. The command center staff continued to communicate with him on the radio while they reached out to the Newcastle Fire Department for help with the rescue because Coast Guard boats were too large to navigate through the Sheepscot River. In addition to the radio, the man was carrying a cell phone, a strobe light and a personal EPIRB, which, when activated, transmitted his GPS coordinates to the Air Force Rescue Coordination Center. He was also wearing a bright yellow life jacket. Having the proper safety equipment saved the man’s life, according to the Coast Guard. The Newcastle firemen saw his strobe light flashing in the distance and were able to locate him about 30 minutes after his initial call for help. They transported him to an ambulance where he was evaluated and released without any injuries. (Oct. 6)
Report of capsized vessel
Station Montauk, N.Y.
A search was under way for a possible missing boater after a capsized vessel was located 25 miles south of Montauk, N.Y. A Coast Guard rescue crew from Station Montauk was conducting surface searches for a possible occupant after a good Samaritan reported seeing the capsized boat. A rescue helicopter crew from Coast Guard Air Station Cape Cod also conducted searches with negative results and no debris was found. Divers from the Suffolk County Police Department were en route to conduct an underwater search. The boat had a small hole in the bottom of the hull, several 3-foot cracks on its port side and a line fouled in the port screw. The boat has a white fiberglass hull with black bottom painting. There were no reports of pollution. If anyone has any information regarding the boat, please contact your local authorities or Coast Guard Sector Long Island Sound at (203) 468-4403. (Oct. 24)
Disabled and adrift
Three people were rescued after their pleasure boat became disabled south of Branford, Conn. The mariners in the boat had been missing for nearly six-and-a-half hours before they were located near the Thimble Islands. A concerned relative contacted Sea Tow after they failed to return to port. The three people were rescued following a multi-agency search that involved the Branford Fire Department, the Connecticut State Police, Sea Tow and Coast Guard assets. All three individuals were reported to be in good condition. (Sept. 22)
Wallet found floating
Station Eaton’s Neck, N.Y.
A multi-agency search for a missing fisherman continued in Oyster Bay, N.Y. The missing man, whose wallet was floating in debris, was fishing for clams about a half mile offshore when his boat sank for unknown reasons. A Coast Guard rescue helicopter crew was performing search patterns. Coast Guard rescue boat crews from Station Eaton’s Neck, Station Kings Point, and Greenwich, Stamford and Nassau County police department boats were also searching. So far a sunken 17-foot boat, a gas can, a cooler, buckets, nets, and a clamming rake have been found near Peacock Point, east of Matinecock Point, by good Samaritans and law enforcement agencies. The search area has been expanded to 40 square miles since it began. The incident was originally reported by a good Samaritan who came upon floating debris. (Sept. 24)
Swamped near inlet
Station Moriches, N.J.
A man was rescued after his boat capsized 300 yards southeast of Moriches Inlet. The man reported that the breaking surf had swamped his boat and it then capsized. The Coast Guard found the man sitting on top of his capsized boat only 10 minutes after he made a call to a friend for help. The boat was stable enough for him to climb on top of it to wait for responders. A rescue crew from Coast Guard Station Moriches picked up and transferred the man to shore. He was wearing a life jacket. Weather on scene produced about 10 mph winds and occasional 3- to 4-foot breaking surf. (Oct. 24)
This article originally appeared in the January 2009 issue.