Coast Guard Response Report

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Recent responses from around the nation

Recent responses from around the nation

Pleasure boat taking on water

Air Station Elizabeth City, N.C.

Six people were assisted by the Coast Guard after their 23-foot Bayliner started taking on water about 20 miles off Virginia Beach. After Coast Guard search and rescue coordinators requested assistance from any vessels near the distressed boaters, a foreign-flagged, 300-meter bulk carrier dispatched its small boat to the scene to evacuate the boaters if necessary. Less than an hour after the mayday call, a Coast Guard rescue helicopter from Air Station Elizabeth City, N.C., arrived at the scene and lowered a dewatering pump to the sinking boat. A 47-foot rescue boat from Station Little Creek, Va., approached as the Bayliner pumped out enough water to begin making its way toward shore. The rescue boat and the Virginia Marine Police escorted the Bayliner to Rudee Inlet. The six people on board the Bayliner reported no injuries, and were all wearing life jackets. (Oct. 2)

Samaritans come through

Air Station Atlantic City, N.J.

A fishing boat that was thought to have been lost at sea was located with the help of good Samaritan boats and the Coast Guard. The 38-foot sportfishing boat that left Bergan Point, N.Y., was thought to be missing after its emergency position indicating radio beacon was activated. Coast Guard Cutter Dependable, a 47-foot patrol boat from Fire Island, and a rescue helicopter from Air Station Atlantic City were diverted to the scene. Group Atlantic City and Group Moriches put out an urgent marine information broadcast for boaters to be on the lookout for the boat. The helicopter was the first to arrive on scene where the pilots noticed a strobe light in the water. The aircrew began to scan the water for any clues as to what may have happened. An hour after the search began, a radio call from another fishing boat and a sailboat radioed the Coast Guard stating they had located the sportfisher. The boat had been disabled due to engine problems. The 47-foot patrol boat took the boat into a stern tow and brought it to Robert Moses Boat Basin in New York. (Oct. 14)

Houseboat sinks

Air Station Elizabeth City, N.C.

A Coast Guard rescue helicopter hoisted a man from Albemarle Sound near the entrance to Alligator River after his houseboat began sinking. The Coast Guard received a call from Alligator River Marina after they received a call from a man claiming the lower level of his three-level houseboat was full of water and the boat was listing. A good Samaritan arrived on scene about 25 minutes later and agreed to stand by until Coast Guard units arrived. A Station Elizabeth City helicopter and a 47-foot rescue boat from Station Oak Island, N.C., launched soon after receiving the call. The man was safely hoisted into the helicopter and taken to Air Station Elizabeth City to await transportation. About a half-hour later, the houseboat was completely submerged. The Coast Guard Marine Safety Office was working with the owner to arrange salvage. The Coast Guard has issued a safety broadcast to mariners regarding the sunken vessel. (Oct. 16)

Sailors vs. hurricane

Station Fort Myers Beach, Fla.

Two boaters on board their 37-foot sailboat requested the assistance of the Coast Guard as they were unable to continue to sustain the high winds and seas of Hurricane Jeanne. The master of the sailboat contacted the Coast Guard, saying they were having difficulty steering. The Coast Guard remained in contact with the sailboat throughout the early morning hours, monitoring the situation. As the sailboat approached the entrance to San Carlos Bay, the heavy winds actually began pulling it backward. A Station Fort Myers Beach 47-foot rescue boat was dispatched to the scene of the sailboat to render assistance. However, due to the high winds and heavy seas, the Coast Guard crew was unable to take the sailboat in tow or remove the two sailors from their boat. Weather conditions on scene consisted of 45- to 50-knot winds and 8- to 10-foot seas. Unable to remove the sailors from the sailboat, the Coast Guard crew returned to base. Another crew from Station Fort Myers Beach returned to the location of the sailboat and made another attempt to take the vessel in tow or remove the sailors. The boat crew was able to remove the sailors from their boat. They were reportedly suffering from seasickness but otherwise not in need of any immediate medical assistance. The Coast Guard rescue boat was en route to Station Fort Myers Beach. (Sept. 26)

Cell phone brings rescue

Coast Guard Sector Miami, Fla.

A commercial salvager rescued two people two miles off Baker’s Haulover Inlet when their 26-foot pleasure boat took on water and capsized. The good Samaritan was responding to an Urgent Marine Information Broadcast issued by Coast Guard Sector Miami for a distress call received from the boat operator by cellular phone. The rescue began when a boater called the 7th District Command Center to report his boat was sinking. The initial cellular connection was lost, but not before rescue coordinators were able to get the caller’s number. Sector Miami was able to reach the boat operator again by cell phone. After collecting the basic information, a UMIB was issued. Just four minutes into the call, the boat capsized and communication was lost with the boat in distress. Fortunately, the UMIB was received by the good Samaritan who immediately headed to the reported location and recovered the two people from the water in good condition. A rescue boat was launched and a helicopter requested, but neither was needed due to the quick aid of the salvager. The people and boat were transported safely ashore by the salvager. (Oct. 5)

PFDs save crew

Station Tillamook Bay, Ore.

Four people owe their survival to life jackets after their pleasure boat capsized, sending them into the ocean for 45 minutes near Bayocean Peninsula Beach, Ore. A call was received by Station Tillamook Bay that one person in a life jacket had drifted ashore from a capsized boat. The person indicated there were three other people still missing. A Coast Guard 47-foot motor lifeboat from Station Tillamook Bay was diverted and rescued the 54-year old master of the boat from the surf. He had been in the water for 45 minutes and was showing symptoms of hypothermia. The Tillamook County Sheriff’s Department also responded and found the two remaining boaters safely on the beach. Local emergency medical technicians transported the four boaters to Tillamook County General Hospital where they where treated and released for mild to moderate hypothermia. Prior to the boat capsizing the onboard global positioning system failed and the boaters became disoriented and lost in a dense fog. While trying to find the south entrance to the bay, the craft was turned directly into the beach surf, which capsized the boat. No distress call was received prior to the boat capsizing. Weather conditions at the time of the accident were light winds, dense fog with visibility of less than 50 feet, water temperature of about 55 degrees, and surf between 6 and 8 feet. (Oct. 18)