Coast Guard medevacs 4 from sailboat

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The crew of a 45-foot response boat from Coast Guard Station San Juan, Puerto Rico, medically evacuated the four-man crew aboard the sailing vessel Manua Thursday in waters 16 nautical miles north of Arecibo, Puerto Rico.

The three Canadian citizens and one U.S. citizen were reportedly fishing aboard the 32-foot sailing vessel when they became severely ill after all four crewmen suddenly began showing symptoms of possible food poisoning.

Coast Guard Sector San Juan watchstanders received a VHF channel 16 distress radio call from the captain of the Manua, who reported the incident.

"The success of this rescue highlights the importance of having a marine band VHF radio," said Lt. Cmdr. Peter Jones, Sector San Juan Command Center chief. "Had Manua not had such a radio and relied on cell phone or another communications method, the outcome of this case could have been tragic. We strongly encourage all mariners to install a VHF marine radio in their vessel."

Coast Guard Station San Juan proceeded to launch a 45-foot response boat to conduct the medical evacuation. Once on scene with the Manua, the Coast Guard crew embarked all four men and began treating two of the most severely ill crewmen for shock.