CG Response Fla Feb 2007 - Soundings Online

CG Response Fla Feb 2007

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Recent responses from Florida and around the nation

Recent responses from Florida and around the nation

18 hours in water

Station Marathon, Fla.

The Coast Guard rescued a boardsailer one mile off Big Pine Key, Fla. The 55-year-old man was reported overdue to the Coast Guard by his wife. Upon receiving the report the Coast Guard immediately launched an HH-65 Dolphin helicopter from Air Station Miami and a 25-foot rescue boat from Station Marathon, Fla. Coast Guard rescue crews searched until the case was suspended until daylight. At first light the search resumed with another HH-65 Dolphin helicopter from Air Station Miami and a Coast Guard 33-foot rescue boat from Station Marathon. The Dolphin helicopter located the man and directed the rescue boat to his location. He was found holding onto a crab pot. According to the man he had grabbed and held onto the crab pot throughout the night so he would stop drifting. Within minutes the Coast Guard took the cold and tired man to the Big Pine Fishing Lodge and transferred him to local EMS. The Monroe County Sheriff’s Office marine unit also assisted with the search. (Oct. 25)

Four people, one dog on raft

Air Station Clearwater, Fla.

Coast Guard Air Station Clearwater crews rescued four people and one dog from a life raft about 60 miles west of Sarasota, Fla. Coast Guard Sector St. Petersburg received a call from a good Samaritan reporting that the 42-foot fishing boat had sunk with four people and a dog on board. At the time of the report all four people and the dog had already embarked a life raft. Coast Guard Air Station Clearwater immediately diverted an HH-60 rescue helicopter and a C-130 search plane to assist the people on the raft. The rescue crews arrived on scene and began hoisting the people and dog from the raft. They were then brought to Coast Guard Air Station Clearwater. All were reported to be in good condition. The sea conditions at the time of the vessel capsizing were reported at 10- to 12-foot swells with 25- to 30-knot winds. (Nov. 7)

Clinging to a buoy

Station Pensacola, Fla.

The Coast Guard rescued two missing boaters in Pensacola Bay, Fla., after the boaters were reported overdue by a family member. Coast Guard Station Pensacola launched a 41-foot smallboat crew and Coast Guard Air Station New Orleans launched an HH-65C rescue helicopter crew. Air Station New Orleans located the two missing boaters on a mooring buoy two miles south of the I-10 bridge in Pensacola Bay. Station Pensacola arrived on scene, picked up both men and transferred them to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission personnel. The boaters indicated they struck a mooring buoy, which tossed them from their boat. (Nov. 9)

Three on a sinking boat

Air Station Savannah, Ga.

Three people were rescued by a Coast Guard helicopter crew after their jonboat started taking on water south of Pinckney Island, S.C. The two men and woman called Beaufort County 911 Dispatch and reported they were in distress. Coast Guard rescue coordinators from Coast Guard Sector Charleston dispatched a rescue boat from Station Tybee Island, Ga., and a rescue helicopter from Air Station Savannah, Ga. The rescue aircrew from Air Station Savannah hoisted the trio in driving rain, extremely low visibility and 25-mph winds. All three were taken to Hilton Head Airport, S.C. Boaters are reminded to stay off the water during small-craft advisories. (Oct. 27)

Pro-football player rescued

Air Station Clearwater, Fla.

The crew of a Coast Guard Air Station Clearwater, Fla., helicopter found a former pro-football player, who had been missing since the day before, in Buttonwood Canal. Ken Duke, a former Baltimore Colts player, was reported overdue by his family. Duke departed Flamingo Bay boat ramp in a boat he had purchased the day before for a day of fishing in the Everglades National Park. Duke had been expected to return around noon from the voyage. Upon receiving the report the Coast Guard immediately launched an HH-65 Dolphin helicopter from Coast Guard Air Station Miami and searched throughout the night. The Coast Guard then launched a H-60 Jayhawk helicopter from Air Station Clearwater, Fla., to conduct a first-light search the next morning. The helicopter crew found Duke and vectored a National Park Service boat to Duke’s location to assist him. Duke reported that he had become disoriented and could not find his way back to his departure point. Duke was drafted to the Baltimore Colts in 1966. (Nov. 23)

Search for missing sail craft

Port Richey, Fla.

The Coast Guard suspended its search for the operator of a Wingsailer sail craft after the missing man returned to his Port Richey home. The 35-year-old man left from Green Key Park near Gulf Harbors, Fla., on a 10-foot Wingsailer headed for Durney Key near the Pithlachascotee River. According to the man’s wife, he was to return to Green Key Park late in the afternoon, but he never showed up. His wife reported him missing. Coast Guard watchstanders were briefing his wife on the progress of the case when the man suddenly returned home. The man told the Coast Guard that a friend towed him to Hudson, Fla. He did not call his wife, family, friends or authorities to notify them of his whereabouts. The Coast Guard searched for the man for more than eight hours with one 25-foot rescue boat, two 47-foot rescue boats, three rescue helicopters and one C-130 search plane. The Pasco County Sheriff’s Office and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission also expended considerable resources in conducting searches for Jackson. This search cost taxpayers more than an estimated $100,000 which does not include man hours or the additional efforts of the state and local agencies involved in the search. The Coast Guard strongly encourages boaters to file float plans with a family member or friend, and if something changes, notify your family or friend of the change as soon as possible. (Oct. 24)

Severely seasick

Air Station Savannah, Ga.

The Coast Guard rescued a sick crew member after she began vomiting blood and towed her fellow sailboat crewmembers to safety from 50 miles off the coast of Savannah. The woman was on the 58-foot sailboat when she became extremely ill and began vomiting blood. According to the crew, two of three crew members were suffering from severe seasickness in the 7-foot seas. Coast Guard Sector Charleston, S.C., requested assistance from an Air Station Savannah HH-65 helicopter crew to assist in the rescue. The helicopter crew located the sailboat and lowered the rescue swimmer to evaluate the crew. The rescue swimmer determined that the woman was in need of immediate medical attention. She was then hoisted by the helicopter crew and transported to Hunter Army Airfield, Ga., where an ambulance transported her to St. Joseph’s Candler Hospital in Savannah. Coast Guard Cutter Tarpon took the sailboat in tow and brought the two other passengers safely to Brunswick, Ga. (Nov. 13)

Taking on water

Station Ponce Inlet, Fla.

The Coast Guard assisted a 37-foot sailboat that was taking on water 20 miles off the coast of Ponce Inlet. The sailors, ages 70 and 65, departed from Georgetown, S.C., on a course for Palm Beach, Fla., when they began taking on water near Ponce Inlet. The two men radioed for help over VHF Channel 16 indicating that they needed assistance. Upon notification, a Coast Guard Station Ponce Inlet 47-foot motor life boat, an HH-60 Jayhawk helicopter from Coast Guard Air Station Clearwater, Fla., and Coast Guard Cutter Kingfisher all launched to assist the two men. When Coast Guard crews arrived, they followed the sailboat operating on its own power into safe harbor at Station Ponce Inlet. After the sailboat arrived, around 50 gallons of water were pumped off. The two men reported that they were experiencing 8-foot seas and 15-knot winds when they radioed for assistance. (Nov. 6)

Rescued from burning boat

Air Facility Charleston, S.C.

Three people were rescued about one mile east of Kiawah Beach, S.C., after their fishing trawler caught fire forcing them to abandon ship. Fire engulfed the pilothouse on the 69-foot trawler. The men radioed Coast Guard rescue coordinators at Sector Charleston and abandoned ship into a life raft. The Coast Guard launched a boat crew from Station Charleston, an aircrew from Air Facility Charleston and Cutter Yellow Fin to assist the three men. The Coast Guard aircrew arrived and lowered their hoist basket to the men in the life raft. The aircrew was able to hoist one of the men but could not get the other two in the basket. The aircrew pulled back and let a nearby fishing boat pick up the remaining two. The three were transported to safety and all were in good condition. Their fishing boat sank shortly after the rescue, but Coast Guard rescue coordinators have transmitted an information broadcast asking mariners to used caution when traveling through the area of Kiawah Beach. (Oct. 28)

Three hoisted off sailboat

Air Station Elizabeth City, N.C.

A Coast Guard HH-60 Jayhawk rescue helicopter crew from Air Station Elizabeth City, N.C., hoisted three men to safety 150 miles off the coast of Cape Hatteras, N.C. The men were aboard a 45-foot two-masted sailboat when they were beset by heavy seas. They notified the Coast Guard requesting assistance. In addition, a Coast Guard C-130 provided air cover during the rescue. The three were to be evaluated by Air Station Elizabeth City medical personnel upon arrival. (Nov. 7)

Caught in weather

Air Facility Charleston, S.C.

The Coast Guard rescued two people on their sailboat approximately 28 miles southeast of Charleston after setting off their emergency positioning indicating radio beacon because of the rough weather. The 58-year-old man and 47-year-old woman were on a 39-foot sailboat traveling from Wilmington, N.C., to Charleston when they got caught in rough weather and started suffering from seasickness and exhaustion. Upon receiving the distress call from the boat’s EPIRB, Coast Guard Sector Charleston search and rescue coordinators requested assistance from Coast Guard Air Facility Charleston to investigate the distress signal. Upon arrival, the aircrew hoisted the pair into the helicopter and transported them back to the air facility. The owner of the sailboat is coordinating with commercial salvage to recover the boat. The sea conditions were 30-knot winds with sea swells at about 11 feet. (Nov. 3)

Three days, three rescues

Portsmouth, Va.

The Coast Guard was coordinating the third rescue in three days of a sailboat associated with the Route du Rhum - La Banque Postale regatta. The regatta spans 3,150 miles across the Atlantic Ocean from France to Guadeloupe. The Coast Guard coordinated the response of several AMVER vessels within the area to assist the distressed boaters. AMVER is a ship reporting system for search and rescue. It is a global system that enables identification of other ships in the area of a ship in distress, which could then be sent to assist. Three boats in the past three days have required assistance due to onset of heavy weather. (Nov. 8)

Offshore medevacs

Air Station Elizabeth City, N.C.

A Coast Guard HH-60 Jayhawk rescue helicopter crew from Air Station Elizabeth City, N.C., hoisted a 65-year-old man suffering from abdominal pain from a 47-foot sailboat about 200 miles off the coast of Cape Hatteras, N.C. The crew will transfer the man to Ablemarle General Hospital in Elizabeth City where he will receive medical treatment upon arrival. In addition, a Coast Guard C-130 provided air cover during the rescue. (Nov. 10)

Disabled and lost

Air Station Elizabeth City, N.C.

Coast Guard crews from Air Station Elizabeth City, N.C., and Station Cape Charles rescued an injured boater from a disabled pleasure boat in the vicinity of Cherrystone Inlet. Station Cape Charles was notified shortly after midnight by a boater stating he was disabled and drifting and was unaware of is location. A 41-foot motor lifeboat crew was launched, and located the boat in Cherrystone Inlet. Rough seas and heavy winds made it difficult for the boat crew to complete a transfer, and an HH-60 Jayhawk rescue helicopter arrived on scene and hoisted the boater to safety. The crew delivered the man to Eastern Shore Memorial Hospital where he was being treated for hypothermia. (Nov. 13)

Two aboard sinking vessel

Station Charleston, S.C.

Coast Guard search and rescue crews assisted two men aboard a 60-foot fishing boat that was taking on water eight miles off the coast of Charleston. The two men, ages 36 and 33, departed from Beaufort, S.C., on a course for Wanchese, N.C., when they began taking on water. The two men radioed for help over VHF channel 16 indicating that they were taking on water and needed assistance. Upon notification, a Coast Guard Station Charleston 47-foot motor lifeboat, an HH-65 Dolphin helicopter from Air Facility Charleston and local commercial salvage all launched to assist the vessel. When rescue crews arrived, the boat was almost completely submerged. Rescue crews quickly transferred de-watering pumps to get the water out of the boat and transferred the two men onto a Coast Guard boat. The two men were taken to Coast Guard Station Charleston. Commercial salvage was coordinating the salvage of the vessel. The two men reported that they were experiencing 8-foot seas and 20-knot winds when they radioed for assistance. (Nov. 7)