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C.G. hoists 3 from beach

Air Station Atlantic City, N.J.

Three people were airlifted by a Coast Guard Rescue helicopter after their boat started taking on water. Coast Guard Sector Field Office Atlantic City received a call reporting that a 25-foot boat with three people on board was aground at the mouth of the Mispillion River across from Cape May in Delaware. Shortly thereafter, another call came through reporting that the boat was now taking on water. After losing communication with the boat, a Coast Guard rescue boat from Coast Guard Station Cape May and a rescue helicopter from Air Station Atlantic City were launched to help the stranded boaters. The helicopter arrived on scene to find the three people had climbed onto the rock jetty at the mouth of the river and walked to a nearby beach. The helicopter crew then hoisted the three people on board to transfer them to Training Center Cape May. EMS personnel met the helicopter at the center and transferred the three people to Burdette Tomlin Hospital in Cape May to treat them for mild hypothermia. (April 22)

Rescue in heavy conditions

Group St. Petersburg, Fla.

Coast Guard crewmembers were coordinating a critical rescue despite a rough sea state. At approximately 8:45 p.m., Coast Guard Group St. Petersburg received a distress call from the first mate of a 44-foot sailboat. The boat was approximately 85 nautical miles northwest of Tampa and had engine trouble when gale force winds kicked up. The 46-year-old captain was injured while working on the sails when the boat’s boom struck him in the chest, pinning him against the rigging. There were two crewmembers on board as well. A Coast Guard helicopter responded to the scene shortly after 11 p.m. with a rescue swimmer, and another arrived around 3 a.m. Winds were at 20-30 knots, making for dangerous conditions. Transfer of a rescue swimmer was complicated due to the half-mast condition of the boat’s sails, choppy seas and gale-force winds, but eventually one was able to board the sailboat and stabilize the victim. It was believed the victim had possible back and chest injuries. A physician assistant from Air Station Clearwater had arrived on scene via boat, but attempting his transfer to the sailboat was too dangerous due to the sea state. A Coast Guard rescue boat from Station Sand Key was going to attempt to tow the sailboat from Clearwater pass to Clearwater Municipal Boat Dock once conditions were deemed safe, where EMS personnel will transfer the victim to a medical facility. It was unknown at the time when the sailboat was scheduled to arrive at the municipal docks. Estimates were between 1 p.m. and 2 p.m. (March 25)