Recent responses throughout Florida
STEALTH SHIP — The Department of Defense high-speed experimental boat Stiletto departs U.S. Coast Guard Station Miami Beach en route to a training exercise area near the South Florida coast. The 88-foot-long, 60-ton vessel is under the tactical control of Joint Interagency Task Force South to counter illicit trafficking operations.
C.G. repatriates 35 Haitian migrants
Seventh District, Miami
The Coast Guard cutter Reliance repatriated 35 Haitian migrants to Cape Haitien, Haiti, after a dangerously overloaded vessel with more than 100 Haitian migrants was spotted by a Coast Guard aircraft.
Coast Guard cutter Key Biscayne and Venturous responded to the notification of a motor vessel, Rosa Philomena, transiting north and smuggling more than 100 Haitian migrants. Once on the scene, smallboat crews handed out 100 life jackets and provided food, water and basic medical care before the migrants were repatriated. Cutter Venturous used a boarding team to safely remove the 35 migrants who agreed voluntarily to leave the vessel, according to the Coast Guard.
The remaining migrants began to refuse to disembark, so the smuggling vessel turned around and transited south back towards Haiti with the Coast Guard vessels following in plain sight. General threats from migrants were reported, but Coast Guard boarding teams did not witness weapons aboard the vessel. (May 29)
Search for missing passenger suspended
Seventh District, Miami
The Coast Guard suspended its search for an 18-year-old man reported to have gone overboard on a cruise ship.
The search was conducted by four search planes, a rescue helicopter and a patrol boat covering 5,300 square miles. The man reported missing was said to have gone overboard in the evening on a Carnival Fantasy cruise ship. The search was suspended a couple days later, according to the Coast Guard. (May 26)
3 Adults and 2 children rescued
Station Mayport, Fla.
The Coast Guard rescued three adults and two children after inclement weather caused their recreational vessel to capsize in Lake George, Fla.
Coast Guard Station Mayport was conducting a training operation nearby when the recreational vessel capsized. When the Coast Guard arrived, two adults and two children were trapped underneath the vessel, according to the Coast Guard.
The Coast Guard rescued the five people from the water and transported them to Juniper Springs Hunt Club in Salt Springs, Fla., to await emergency medical services. (May 24)
Four people rescued from capsized vessel
Air Station Clearwater, Fla.
A helicopter crew rescued four people from the water after their boat capsized 15 miles west of Weeki Wachee River.
The Coast Guard received a relayed 911 call reporting that a 23-foot Wellcraft was rapidly taking on water with four people on board. Coast Guard HH-60 Jayhawk rescue helicopter crew launched from Air Station Clearwater, spotted the four people in the water, and hoisted them to safety, according to the Coast Guard.
The people were being transferred to awaiting emergency medical services and were reported to be in good condition. (May 12)
Missing divers rescued
Sector St. Petersburg, Fla.
A good Samaritan rescued two divers who had been adrift for nearly 24 hours, 20 miles west of Hernando Beach, Fla.
Coast Guard Sector St. Petersburg received a call from two citizens stating that they had found the two divers about 20 miles west of Hernando Beach. The divers say they had been unable to swim back to their 28-foot boat because of a strong current and had begun to drift away, according to the Coast Guard.
The divers were transported to Oak Hill Hospital to await medical attention. (May 10)
This article originally appeared in the Florida & the South Home Waters Section of the August 2009 issue.