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CG Responses Jan 07 Mid Atlantic

Recent responses from the Carolinas and Virginia

Recent responses from the Carolinas and Virginia

Vessel explodes

Station Tybee, S.C.

One person was hospitalized and another suffered minor injuries following an explosion on a 34-foot pleasure boat after the owner finished fueling his boat and started his engine at a Hilton Head Harbor marina. One bystander was hospitalized, and the boat’s owner suffered minor injuries. Coast Guard Station Tybee immediately dispatched a 41-foot boat to assist the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control and Department of Natural Resources following the explosion and fire. The burning boat was towed by a good Samaritan away from the burning dock and outside the navigational channel. The dock and gas pump sustained substantial damage, and a repair time line has not been established. A light-fuel sheen was observed immediately following the explosion. The sheen has since dissipated. Coast Guard investigators confirmed no additional fuel was leaking from the burned gas line, and the gas tank had been secured. The exact cause of the fire was unknown and was being investigated by the Bluffton Fire Department and the Coast Guard. (Oct. 8)

Sail racer dies

Station Charleston, S.C.

A man died following an accident during the Sunfish Championship Regatta while competing in a race on Charleston Harbor. The man was spotted by racers, race committee members and rescue crews face down partially in the water and his body partially still on his small, single-person sailboat. A fellow racer and a race committee member jumped into the water to hold his face out of water. A Coast Guard boat crew from Station Charleston pulled the man from the water and began first aid. Coast Guard crews transferred the man to EMS at Charleston Harbor Marina. The man was taken to the East Cooper Regional Medical Center in Mt. Pleasant, S.C., where he was pronounced dead. (Oct. 3)

Capsize proves fatal

Air Stations Elizabeth City, N.C.,

and Atlantic City, N.J.

The bodies of two boaters who were reported overdue the previous day were recovered early the next afternoon. Coast Guard helicopter crews from Air Stations Elizabeth City, N.C., and Atlantic City, N.J., along with the Virginia Marine Resource Commission, the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries, the York County Sheriff’s Department and the Poquoson Police and Fire Departments searched throughout the night after receiving a report from a family member of the two boaters that their 17-foot skiff had been found capsized in the mouth of the Poquoson River. Both bodies were recovered by the Virginia Marine Resource Commission. (Oct. 7)

Boat strikes seawall

Station Charleston, S.C.

Two people were injured after their 23-foot pleasure boat struck the seawall near Arthur Ravenel, Jr. Bridge in Charleston. A 53-year-old passenger was seriously injured and the other 43-year-old boater suffered minor injuries. Both were transferred to EMS by crews from Coast Guard Station Charleston and the Charleston County Marine Patrol. The two struck the 300-yard long seawall at about 9 p.m. An off-duty Coast Guardsman witnessed the accident and called 911. The wall is marked by a lighted navigational buoy visible when approaching the seawall and one flashing green navigational light at the end of the seawall. The South Carolina Department of Natural Resources was investigating the accident. The Coast Guard recommends boaters, no matter how experienced, not deviate from marked navigational channels. Obstructions on the waterway and shallow water outside of the navigational channel may not be visible, especially when navigating at night. More than 40 people died in 2005 in 497 separate boating accidents throughout the U.S. after colliding with fixed objects. Collisions with fixed objects is the third most common boating accident in the United States, and the second most common boating accident in South Carolina. (Sept. 24)

Cell phone distress call

Station Emerald Isle, Va.

Two men were rescued by the Coast Guard after their 16-foot boat capsized two miles off Bogue Inlet, N.C. Coast Guard Sector North Carolina in Fort Macon was contacted by Carteret County 911 operators who reported they had received a cellphone call from one of the men. The men had been fishing when their boat capsized. A Coast Guard helicopter training in the area was diverted to the scene along with a 25-foot rescue boat from Station Emerald Isle. Both men were rescued, one by the Coast Guard boat and the other by a responding Towboat U.S. vessel. Both men were wearing their life jackets. (Oct. 10)