Recent responses from New England and the Mid-Atlantic
Coast Guard responds to helicopter crash
Station Rockland, Maine
The Coast Guard responded to a helicopter crash near Little Deer Island in Penobscot Bay, Maine.
A nearby vessel saw the helicopter crash and called Station Rockland to report the incident. The station launched a 25-foot response boat and crew. While en route, the response boat received a report that all four people aboard the helicopter got out safely after the crash and waded ashore at Little Deer Island. None suffered life-threatening injuries; only one was reported to have neck pain, but it was not considered serious, according to the Coast Guard.
A small dispatch boat from a 182-foot motor luxury yacht Lady Christine picked up the four people and brought them aboard.
The Rockland Coast Guard small boat tied up to the crashed helicopter and towed it to shore on the island, where a marine salvage company was to attempt to remove it.
The helicopter had about 30 gallons of fuel on board when it crashed. The Maine Department of Environmental Protection planned to investigate potential pollution. The cause of the crash will be investigated. (Aug. 1)
Tall ship freed from rocks
Station Woods Hole, Mass.
The 118-foot tall ship Unicorn and 16 women aboard the ship are safe after the vessel ran aground on rocks in Great Harbor near Woods Hole, Mass. The tall ship is back, safely anchored in Vineyard Haven, Mass., after the commercial tug Jaguar freed it from the rocks and towed it.
The ship was en route from Boston to Martha’s Vineyard, Mass. The crew of the N.J.-based ship teaches young women how to sail, according to the Coast Guard.
A 41-foot boat crew from Coast Guard Station Woods Hole removed nine teenagers and one adult chaperone from the Unicorn, leaving six adult crewmembers aboard to assist with freeing it. No injuries or pollution have been reported and a commercial dive team will perform an underwater assessment to inspect the hull for damage. The cause of the incident is under investigation, according to the Coast Guard. (Aug. 5)
Boater rescued in Potomac
Station St. Ingoes, Md.
The Coast Guard received a call by cell phone from the operator of a 23-foot boat who lost electrical power and became disoriented while traveling from St. Mary’s River to the Yeocomico River.
The Coast Guard worked with the cell phone provider to narrow a search area near Smith Point in the Potomac River. A good Samaritan aboard a motor vessel passed the boat owner and confirmed his position, which correlated with the cellular position.
Rescue boat crews from Coast Guard Station St. Ingoes, Md., and Smith Point Sea Rescue responded to the distress call and began to search. A 25-foot response boat crew from Station St. Ingoes spotted a flare and searched the area. After arriving, the crew assisted the boat owner and towed the boat to the nearest safe haven. (Aug. 1)
Weapons, drugs found on felon’s boat
Station Oak Island, N.C.
The Coast Guard found an illegal firearm, ammunition and illegal drugs in a grounded fishing vessel and assisted local law enforcement officers with taking the vessel’s owner into custody near the Southport Harbor Marina.
The North Carolina Marine Patrol notified Coast Guard watchstanders at Station Oak Island that they located an unmanned 35-foot recreational boat aground in the marsh near the marina.
Two Coast Guard boarding officers from the station and a marina patrol crew boarded a shallow-draft marine patrol boat to verify the condition of the vessel and determine if there was any distress or pollution. The Coast Guard found ammunition on the boat so they did a background check on the owner and discovered the owner was a convicted felon. They then did a sweep of the whole boat and found a gun, spear-gun projectiles and controlled substances, according to the Coast Guard.
The marine patrol boat crew then transported an Oak Island Police Department K-9 unit and two other detectives to search the boat. Shortly after, the owner and operator of the vessel arrived with a crew from the American Fish Company to salvage the vessel. Upon arrival, the owner was taken into custody by Oak Island Police, according to the Coast Guard. (Aug. 6)
This article originally appeared in the New England Home Waters Section of the October 2009 issue.