CG RESPONSES

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Two rescued; search for third

Air Station Elizabeth City, N.C.

Two fishermen were rescued and the Coast Guard was searching for a third 50 miles off Cape Fear, N.C. The two rescued fishermen were located by a Greek-flagged container ship. One man was found clinging to debris in the water and brought aboard the ship in good condition. The second man was hoisted from the water by a Coast Guard helicopter and transferred to New Hanover Hospital, N.C. One of the fishermen reported to rescuers that their fishing boat sank earlier after a wave hit them. The weather in the area where they were located was 12-foot seas and 40-60 knot winds. A Coast Guard C-130 airplane and the container ship continued to search for the missing fisherman. Coast Guard Cutter Block Island, a 110-foot patrol boat from Fort Macon, N.C., was also launched to assist. Both aircraft are from Coast Guard Air Station Elizabeth City, N.C. The container ship was on a voyage from Savannah, Ga., to Norfolk, Va.(April 2)

Boat sinks on York River

Group Hampton Roads, Va.

A Navy MH-60S helicopter crew pulled a man from the York River after his 15-foot boat began taking on water. Coast Guard Group Hampton Roads received a call from Sea Tow reporting the man in distress near the mouth of the York River which prompted search and rescue controllers to send an urgent broadcast to all available assets in the area. Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron 28 responded to the distress by diverting a helicopter which was flying nearby. The Navy helicopter found the man in the water and hoisted him to safety. The man, who was the only person on board the boat, was taken to Naval Station Norfolk Chambers Field. Coast Guard Station Milford Haven and Sea Tow also responded to the distress. (April 6)

Boater search suspended

Air Facility Charleston, S.C.

The Coast Guard suspended its search for a 54 year-old man who fell from his boat in the Stono River near Elliot Cut. A woman standing on a nearby dock contacted the Coast Guard for assistance after hearing a splash and seeing a person in the water. Coast Guard units from Air Facility Charleston and Station Charleston launched immediately to search the area. Crews from the Coast Guard Auxiliary, South Carolina Department of Natural Resources, Charleston County Sheriff’s Office and Charleston City Police Department assisted with the search as well. Everyone involved searched the Stono River near Elliot Cut and surrounding area for more than 24 hours but they were unable to locate the man. South Carolina DNR is the investigating agency. (April 6)

Rescue at sea

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)

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)