Recent responses from New England and the Northeast
Recent responses from New England and the Northeast
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)
Capsize with three aboard
Station South Portland, Maine
The Coast Guard was searching for a man after a fishing boat capsized around in Seals Cove, Cape Elizabeth, Maine. Two of the three individuals aboard the boat when it capsized made it safely to shore. However, one individual remained unaccounted for. The Coast Guard received a distress call as well as an activated EPIRB beacon and diverted a 41-foot utility boat from Station South Portland to the scene. The fishing boat eventually washed ashore and efforts began to cut open the hull. The missing individual, last seen below decks, was not located inside the boat. Shortly afterward, an HH-60 Jayhawk helicopter from Air Station Cape Cod arrived to aid in the search. The search was ongoing. (Sept. 13)
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)
Two in water
Station Merrimack River, Mass.
Coast Guard crews from Station Merrimack River and Air Station Cape Cod were searching for a reported missing person near the North End Boat Club in Newburyport, Mass. Crew members aboard a 25-foot rescue boat from Station Merrimack River were searching for a 50-year-old man in response to a call made from a good Samaritan at the North End Boat Club. The boat crew was on scene within 15 minutes of the call. An Air Station Cape Cod HH-60 Jayhawk aircrew also arrived on scene and conducted several searches and resumed a first-light search with no results. The missing person’s cousin reported that both he and his cousin fell into the Merrimack River and his cousin never resurfaced. The 50-year-old man was reported to be wearing black jeans, a gray sweatshirt, and no life jacket. Conducting searches of the Merrimack River and its shoreline at the time were: Air Station Cape Cod Jayhawk, Station Merrimack River boat crew, Newburyport Police and Fire Departments, and Newburyport Harbormaster. Water conditions were relatively calm and 63 degrees. (Sept. 22)
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)
Station Rockland, Maine
A 60-year-old woman died after her kayak overturned near Deer Isle in Penobscot Bay. Her kayak was found on the west side of Deer Isle. Shortly thereafter, her body was recovered about a mile south of the kayak’s location. She was reported overdue to Coast Guard Station Rockland which dispatched a 25-foot utility boat to begin the search. About an hour later, the Maine Marine Mariner Patrol as well as two good Samaritans joined in the search. Later, an HH-60 Jayhawk helicopter was dispatched from Coast Guard Air Station Cape Cod. Twenty Deer Isle volunteer firefighters aided in the search efforts by walking the coastline. The kayaker was found wearing a life jacket, but no cold water survival suit. The water temperature was reported to be 56 degrees. The Coast Guard encourages boaters to make appropriate preparations for boating in cold water. (Sept. 12)
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 which 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)