Clinging to life jackets
Station Small Great Egg, N.J.
A Coast Guard boat crew rescued a couple after their pleasure boat capsized and sank in Great Egg Harbor Inlet. Rescued were a 52-year-old woman and a 47-year-old man. A nearby mariner contacted response agencies over marine radio that the couple’s boat sank in the inlet and that two boaters were in the water. After hearing the transmission, a rescue boat crew from Coast Guard Station Small Great Egg launched to respond. The boat crew was on scene moments later and found the two clinging to life jackets next to their capsized boat about 100 yards off the inlet’s north point jetty. The crew transported both to Station Small Great Egg and transferred them to awaiting EMS in good condition. The boat has been towed by a commercial salvor to Somers Point. (Sept. 17)
Caught in a storm
Air Station Cape Cod, Mass.
The Coast Guard rescued four people after their 20-foot boat became disabled in dangerous wind and weather-driven waves in Lake Champlain, Vt. The boaters lost engine power about when their boat scraped bottom near Providence Island. Coast Guard Station Burlington initially responded with a 25-foot boat, but could not reach the boaters due to the unusually bad weather of 4- to 6-foot breaking waves and winds of more than 30 knots, which exceeded the response boat’s safe operating parameters. The Coast Guard crew had the boaters anchor their boat and await better weather. However, the weather deteriorated throughout the day and the anchor began to drag. An HH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew from Air Station Cape Cod was launched. While en route a navigation system malfunction forced the crew to make a precautionary landing. The air station prepared a second helicopter as the first crew remedied the problem and continued toward the four in peril. Once on-scene, the air crew hoisted the four boaters safely into the helicopter and transported them to Burlington Airport where an awaiting EMS crew assisted them. They were reported to be good condition. (Aug. 27)
Six aboard sinking boat
Station New York, N.Y.
The Coast Guard rescued four adults and two children from a sinking fishing boat in the East River. The Coast Guard received the distress call from the 40-foot sport fishing boat by marine band radio and immediately deployed rescue boat crews from Station Kings Point and Station New York. The boat sank almost immediately after the last person was safely taken off by the Station New York rescue crew. The four adults and two children did not sustain any injuries and immediately put on life jackets after being requested to do so by the Coast Guard watchstander taking the call. The cause of the incident was under investigation. (Sept. 16)
PWC riders in distress
Air Station Atlantic City, N.J.
A Coast Guard helicopter crew airlifted a young man from his disabled personal watercraft off the coast of Ocean City, N.J. Search and rescue coordinators at Coast Guard Sector Field Office Atlantic City were notified that two PWC riders were stranded aboard their disabled PWC about three miles south of Great Egg Inlet. A Coast Guard rescue helicopter crew from Air Station Atlantic City and a rescue boat crew from Station Atlantic City were launched to respond. Once on scene, the helicopter crew airlifted the operator of the disabled rider and transported him to Ocean City Municipal Airport. The other rider, nearly out of gas, was escorted in safely. The Station Atlantic City boat crew towed the disabled PWC to the station and turned it over to its owner so that it did not pose a hazard to navigation. (Sept. 2)
Capsize proves fatal
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)
Ejected from boat
Station Rockland, Maine
An Air Station Cape Cod aircrew rescued two men who were ejected from their 21-foot pleasure boat when it struck a rock in the vicinity of Penobscot Bay, Maine. The 39-year-old man and 67-year-old man sustained major injuries and were medically evacuated to Eastern Maine Medical Center by the HH-60 Jayhawk helicopter aircrew. Without a VHF radio or flares, the men called for help on a cell phone, and were transferred from a 911 operator to the Maine State Police and finally relayed to Coast Guard Station Rockland. The men were disoriented and unable to describe their position. The cell phone company assisted in obtaining a rough location. Station Rockland crewmembers deployed a 47-foot rescue boat, conducted a few searches for the men’s location, and eventually arrived at the scene. The crew could not approach due to the rocky conditions. The Maine Marine Patrol was also on scene to assist. The aircrew arrived on scene and was forced to land on an adjacent island to deploy the rescue swimmer with a Stokes Litter, which is an adjustable body-sized stretcher used to transport patients in precarious conditions. The vessel was last seen on the same rocks it struck. No pollution had been reported. The weather conditions were 5- to 10-knot winds and 2-foot seas. Neither was wearing a life jacket. (Sept. 3)