Recent responses from across the nation
C.G., Navy assist 4 in sinking fishing boat
The Coast Guard assisted a distressed fishing vessel with four crewmembers about 69 miles east of Chincoteague.
The crew of the Coast Guard cutter Northland received a distress call from the crew of the fishing vessel Travis & Natalie stating they were taking on water and needed assistance.
The Northland's crew set a course for the sinking boat and it took them about two hours to reach its position. In the meantime, Coast Guard watchstanders at the Fifth Coast Guard District headquarters in Portsmouth, Va., directed Air Station Elizabeth City, N.C., to launch and assist.
Air Station Elizabeth City launched an MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter and crew, equipped with dewatering pumps, to assist. They contacted the Navy's Fleet Forces Atlantic Fleet Area Control and Surveillance Facility Virginia Capes to request that the air space surrounding the Travis & Natalie's position was clear to prevent the risk of collision.
A Navy Second Fleet airplane launched and located the distraught vessel and remained until the helicopter arrived to transfer dewatering pumps to the crew of the Travis & Natalie.
Upon the Northland's arrival, a small boat crew form the cutter boarded the fishing boat to investigate the source of flooding and assist with dewatering efforts. They discovered that a net float had broken the rudder packing, causing the water to enter. They stopped the flooding. (Feb. 18)
Two rescued from Albemarle Sound
Elizabeth City, N.C.
Coast Guard crews rescued two people from a disabled sailboat in Albemarle Sound during severe weather.
A man and woman aboard the 26-foot sailboat Griff called Sector North Carolina at 5:48 p.m. after losing power. They reported they needed help and were afraid their boat could capsize in 3- to 5-foot seas and 20-knot winds. Having been blown off course, they didn't know their exact location, but had recently seen channel marker 173 in the Intracoastal Waterway.
Sector North Carolina watchstanders launched Station Elizabeth City's 25-foot response boat and Station Oregon Inlet's 47-foot response boat. Currituck County 911 operators provided an approximate location and the Elizabeth City crew was able to find them at 7:24 p.m.
The crew was unable to tow the sailboat due to the weather and transferred the two people to awaiting EMS at Alligator River Marina with minor injuries. (March 3)
Coast Guard helicopter goes down in Rockies
Salt Lake City
A Coast Guard MH-60T helicopter with five crewmembers aboard went down in the Rocky Mountains about 50 miles east of Salt Lake City.
The Air Force Rescue Coordination Center in Tyndall Air Force Base, Fla., called Coast Guard watchstanders at the Fifth District command center at 11:55 a.m. stating that they picked up a signal from a PLB registered to Air Station Elizabeth City, which was later confirmed by the air station to have resulted from a crash.
Two crewmembers were reported to have internal injuries and were taken to the University of Utah Hospital. One crewmember was reported to have a broken leg and was taken to a local hospital. The remaining two were reported uninjured and were taken from the scene by ground rescue crews.
Air Station Elizabeth City was sending a team of investigators to the scene to conduct an investigation. (March 3)
This article originally appeared in the Mid-Atlantic Home Waters Section of the May 2010 issue.