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CG Responses Fla

Recent responses from around the nation

Recent responses from around the nation

Rescued from Ernesto

Air Station Clearwater, Fla.

Two people were rescued from 10- to 12-foot seas and 40-mph winds by a Coast Guard aircrew during the height of Ernesto, 27 miles east of Port Canaveral, Fla. The man and woman were headed back to Cape Marina in Port Canaveral on their 46-foot sailboat when Tropical Depression Ernesto’s extreme weather conditions caused the sailboat to lose power and steering. The pair was hoisted to safety by a Coast Guard helicopter aircrew from Air Station Clearwater, Fla. A Coast Guard C-130 fixed wing aircraft from Air Station Clearwater flew overhead to ensure the rescue was conducted safely. This was the second Coast Guard rescue from this group of sailboats that day. Another man and woman aboard a 38-foot sailboat made a mayday call to the Coast Guard. The two distressed sailors were rescued by an aircrew from Air Station Clearwater and taken to Melbourne International Airport. The pair had been advised by Coast Guard rescue coordinators at District 7 Command in Miami not to transit into tropical depression Ernesto. The two ignored the suggestions of rescue coordinators and found themselves in distress. The other sailboats in the area were advised by rescue coordinators at Coast Guard Sector Jacksonville to get hoisted by the helicopter while it was near the sailboat that called the mayday. Sailors were told that no other Coast Guard rescue assets might be available following this rescue. While Ernesto had been downgraded to a tropical depression, it still posed extremely dangerous weather conditions for both boaters and Coast Guard rescue crews. (Aug. 31)

Taking on water

Air Station Clearwater, Fla.

A crew from Coast Guard Air Station Clearwater, Fla., hoisted a man from a 25-foot pleasure boat around 23 miles west of the Homosassa River in Citrus County, Fla. The 37-year-old man called the Coast Guard and reported that his boat was taking on water and his anchor line had snapped due to fierce weather conditions in the area. Coast Guard Air Station Clearwater immediately launched an HH-60 Jayhawk rescue helicopter and Coast Guard Station Sand Key, Fla., launched a 47-foot motor life boat to assist in the rescue. The Coast Guard rescue helicopter arrived on scene and safely hoisted the man from the boat and transported him to Crystal River Airport in stable condition. The Coast Guard 47-foot motor life boat towed the man’s boat into Crystal River. Weather at the scene of the rescue was 10- to 15-foot seas and 27 mph winds. (Sept. 13)

Medevac for bleeding boater

Air Station Clearwater, Fla.

A crew from Coast Guard Air Station Clearwater, Fla., medically evacuated a man from a 23-foot pleasure boat about 38 miles west of John’s Pass in Madeira Beach, Fla. The 24-year-old man had severely cut his right hand while fishing and needed medical attention. The operator of the boat called the Coast Guard requesting assistance. Air Station Clearwater immediately launched an HH-60 Jayhawk rescue helicopter and Station St. Petersburg, Fla., launched a 47-foot motor life boat to assist in the rescue. The Coast Guard rescue helicopter arrived on scene and safely hoisted the man from the boat and transported him to a hospital in stable condition. The cause of the injury was unknown at the time. (Sept. 16)

Aground and injured

Air Station Savannah, Ga.

A man was rescued by a Coast Guard Helicopter crew after his boat ran aground and he injured his leg on the Colleton River, Ga., near the Colleton Plantation. The 63-year-old ran his boat aground and could not get under way to receive help for the cut on his leg. A good Samaritan in the area attempted to help, but also ran aground. Coast Guard Sector Charleston diverted a helicopter from Coast Guard Air Station Savannah, Ga., operating in the area. The aircrew was able to hover low enough to allow the man to climb inside their helicopter and lift him to safety. The aircrew transported the man to H.R. Trask Boat Landing, Ga., where waiting Beaufort County EMS transported him to the hospital. (Aug. 29)

Disoriented boater

Station Savannah, Ga.

A man was rescued by a Coast Guard helicopter crew three miles south of the Crescent Beach Bridge after spending more than nine hours lost on the Matanzas River. The man called the Coast Guard on his hand-held VHF marine radio to report he was aground and disoriented. Shortly after midnight, the Coast Guard lost communications with him. A Volusia County helicopter and rescue boats searched for the missing man for several hours and found no sign of him. Coast Guard rescue coordinators from Sector Jacksonville launched a Coast Guard helicopter crew from Savannah, Ga., at sunrise to assist in the search. The crew found the man after they picked up a signal from his hand-held radio. The man directed the helicopter crew to his position where he had become trapped in the dense mud in the marsh area where he was lost. The helicopter crew hoisted the man to safety and transported him to the St. Augustine/St. John’s County Airport, Fla. Coast Guard rescue crews were able to expedite the man’s rescue because he was using a VHF marine hand-held radio. The Coast Guard always recommends that all boaters have a VHF radio aboard their vessel. Cell phones are not a reliable means of communication on the water because they can become wet and malfunction. (Sept. 22)

Charter captains arrested

Sector Hampton Roads, Va.

The Coast Guard issued citations to two catfish charter fishing captains for illegal chartering operations on the James River in the Richmond/Hopewell area. Catfishing has become very popular in the area in recent years. Guides often schedule up to three charters per week. It is not uncommon for these fishing guides to charge up to $300 for a two-person party. While several of the guides operating in the area are licensed, several others are running illegal, unlicensed charters. These charters create a public safety concern because they are routinely conducted at night and these boaters lack the formal navigation and boating safety training required by law. Within the last 12 months, there have been five boating-related deaths on the James River. Licensed captains have completed a rigorous testing process which ensures they have the prerequisite knowledge to safely carry passengers for hire. (Aug. 31)

Capsize proves fatal

Marblehead, Mass.

A 37-year-old man died after his 20-foot pleasure boat capsized when hit by a wave near Baker’s Island in the vicinity of Marblehead, Mass. The man was pronounced dead at Salem Hospital. A 28-year-old man was also in the boat when it capsized. He was rescued by Coast Guard Auxiliarists and sustained no injuries. Both men were transferred to Marblehead Town Dock into an awaiting EMS ambulance to Salem Hospital. A Station Gloucester 47-foot motor life boat and Auxiliary vessel responded to the VHF channel 16 distress call relayed by a good Samaritan who could hear someone calling aloud for help. Sea Tow located the 37-year-old man who was unresponsive and in need of immediate medical assistance. A Station Gloucester crewmember went aboard the Sea Tow vessel and provided CPR to attempt resuscitation. The Auxiliary vessel and Sea Tow vessel transferred both men to Marblehead Town Dock. Neither was wearing a life jacket. The water temperature was around 63 degrees. Winds were 20 to 25 knots. Seas were 5 to 8 feet. (Sept. 2)

Adrift and crewless

Station Curtis Bay, Va.

The Coast Guard, Baltimore City Marine Police, and the Maryland Natural Resources Police were searching the waters of the Patpasco River in the vicinity of the Ferry Bar Channel for signs of a person in the water, after a 30-foot boat was found floating adrift with no one aboard. A tug boat initially spotted the boat and notified the Coast Guard. An initial search of the adrift boat was conducted and Coast Guard personnel found personal items and fresh paint on the boat’s windows. In addition, a small diesel fuel leak was evident. A 41-foot utility boat from Coast Guard Station Curtis Bay towed the derelict boat to the Fairfield Auto Terminal to free any potential hazard to navigation. The search was a precautionary measure, and local authorities were attempting to contact the last known owner. (Sept. 7)