11 hours overboard
Station Indian River Inlet, Del.
A man, who lost his balance and fell overboard from a sportfishing boat at about 11 p.m., spent the night treading water in the Atlantic Ocean. The man fell while en route to offshore fishing grounds, locally known as the Ham Bone. The crew of the boat did not notice that he was missing for several minutes, and was unable to locate him immediately. The Coast Guard searched intensely throughout the night with boats from Station Indian River Inlet, Del., and Station Ocean City, Md., several helicopters from Air Station Atlantic City, N.J., two C-130 airplanes from Air Station Elizabeth City, N.C., and Coast Guard Cutter Ibis from Cape May, N.J. The man was found swimming more than four miles offshore by a recreational fishing boat. He was suffering from mild hypothermia and several cuts and abrasions. A 21-foot rescue boat from Station Indian River Inlet brought the man ashore for EMS treatment. The Coast Guard strongly recommends mariners wear life vests with reflective tape and a light when operating offshore. (July 9)
Two men, one dog rescued
Station Charleston, S.C.
Rescue crews from Coast Guard Sector Charleston saved two men and one dog during two separate cases. The first rescue case began when a 27-foot sailboat contacted the Coast Guard on VHF channel 16 for help. The master of the sailboat stated that his boat overturned and righted itself in heavy winds and seas 30 miles offshore of Charleston and was in need of immediate assistance. Coast Guard Sector Charleston immediately sent out an Urgent Marine Information Broadcast and launched a 47-foot Motor Lifeboat from Station Charleston to assist. An HH-65 dolphin helicopter from Air Facility Charleston was also launched to locate the disabled sailboat. The helicopter arrived on scene first and checked the condition of the man, who stated he didn’t want to be hoisted aboard the helicopter and would wait for the 47-foot MLB to arrive. Once the rescue crew arrived on their MLB, they began to tow the disabled sailboat back to a Charleston city marina. The second rescue case involved an overturned 14-foot boat in the vicinity of the Waccamaw River, S.C., and its passengers, a 27-year-old man and his dog in the water. Upon notification, Coast Guard Station Georgetown, S.C., immediately launched a small boat to pick up the man and his pet. When the rescue crew arrived, they found the man, with his life jacket on, and the dog floating down the river. Upon rescuing the pair in good condition, Coast Guard personnel detected the presence of alcohol on the man and conducted a field sobriety test. The man failed the test and was charged with boating while intoxicated and assault upon a federal officer. (June 25)