Coast Guard response report

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Missing after fall overboard

Station Woods Hole, Mass.

A Coast Guard HH-60 helicopter from Air Station Cape Cod and a 22-foot boat from Coast Guard Station Woods Hole were searching the greater harbor area for a 38-year-old man after he fell from a houseboat during a boat party early in the morning. Group Woods Hole received the call from another passenger aboard the houseboat, explaining that the man fell from the boat. He was reported to be extremely intoxicated. The 22-foot boat from Station Woods Hole arrived on scene almost immediately and a helicopter from Air Station Cape Cod arrived on scene shortly after. Other local authorities, including the Falmouth fire department and Massachusetts Environmental police, as well as local mariners in the area, were also searching. (July 24)

Missing after sinking

Air Station Cape Cod, Mass.

The Coast Guard suspended the search for a 40-year-old man from Port Clyde, Maine, who had been missing since his 50-foot fishing bank sank 70 miles east of Portland, Maine. Using a cell phone, crewmembers reported to their sister ship, which was 40 minutes away, that their boat was in distress, that they were donning survival suits, and abandoning ship to their life raft. The master of the boat was last seen by his 17-year-old son and another 19-year-old crewmember. They stated they saw him go below decks without a life jacket or survival suit as the boat was sinking. He did not resurface. Crewmembers aboard the sister ship rescued two of the three crewmembers, who had fired several flares, from the life raft. The two young men were in stable condition. The Coast Guard searched with an Air Station Cape Cod HH-60 Jayhawk helicopter, two HU-25 Falcon jets, and two cutters, covering 300 square nautical miles in the vicinity of the Jeffreys Bank area. On scene weather during the night of the search had a water temperature of 57 degrees, seas of 4 feet and clear visibility. Sector Northern New England was investigating the incident. (July 14)

Fatal boating accident

Station Southwest Harbor, Maine

Coast Guard Station Southwest Harbor crewmembers’ search for a missing man in the vicinity of Great Harbor Marina in Southwest Harbor, Maine, was called off. The 27-year-old man was found by the Maine State Police Dive Team after he was reported missing by a friend. The missing man and his 26-year-old friend boarded a 12-foot skiff and headed toward a sailboat, moored about 1,000 yards from the marina. The skiff overturned on the way. The friend swam ashore and reported the incident to Cyclone’s Bar, who then called the police. Neither man was wearing a life jacket. Coast Guard Sector Northern New England received the report from Southwest Harbor Police Department andStation Southwest Harbor sent a 25-foot rescue boat to assist the Maine Marine Patrol, Southwest Harbor P.D., F.D., and Southwest Harbor Harbormaster in the search for the man. The depth of water was 3 to 12 feet deep with a water temperature of 49.8 degrees.A debris field was 100 feet from shore, including the man’s hat, wallet and paddles. Once the debris field was located, the MSP Dive Team was called in and the search turned to a recovery effort. Station Southwest Harbor crewmembers provided a safety zone for the MSP Dive Team. The incident was under investigation by Southwest Harbor Police Department and Maine Marine Police. (July 17)

Three rescued from life raft

Air Station Cape Cod, Mass.

A Coast Guard Air Station Cape Cod aircrew rescued three fishermen from a life raft after their fishing boat sank 12 miles northeast of Chatham, Mass. The 60-foot scalloper had left Provincetown for a fishing expedition. According to the 49-year-old master of the boat, a 1,000-pound dredge struck the wooden hull of the fishing boat, popped a board inward, unknowingly causing a leak. The leak flooded the engine room and the pumps could not keep up. The master immediately put on his life jacket and attempted to make a mayday call, but the call did not go through. The other two crewmembers put on survival suits and all three fishermen entered the life raft with an emergency position indicating radio beacon and cell phone. An HH-60 Jayhawk helicopter arrived on scene to the position of the EPIRB and saw flares fired from a life raft. A rescue swimmer assisted in hoisting all three fishermen safely into the helicopter.The crewmembers were flown back to the air station, given dry clothing, food and met by family members. There were no injuries. Marine Safety Office Providence was investigating the incident. (July 17)

Two responses, three rescues

Coast Guard Stations, N.H. and Maine

New Hampshire and Maine Coast Guard units rescued a total of three people in separate incidents. In Portsmouth, N.H., a nearby fishing boat called the Coast Guard to report two people were clinging to an overturned 17-foot sailboat in the Piscataqua River. A Station Portsmouth Harbor rescue boat arrived on scene within two minutes and pulled the two boaters to safety. In Bass Harbor, Maine, a Station Southwest Harbor 25-foot rescue boat crew pulled a 73-year-old man from the water. The man had fallen from a dinghy he was in while attempting to repair the rudder to a larger sailboat that had four people on board. The rescue boat transported him to the Bass Harbor Ferry Dock, where he was transferred to a waiting ambulance. The four other people on the sailboat had limited sailing knowledge, so Station Southwest Harbor also dispatched a 47-foot Motor Lifeboat to escort the sailboat safely back to port. (June 25)

Missing from skiff

Group Portland, Maine

The Coast Guard suspended its search for a 63-year-old man who was reported missing in the vicinity of the Saco River, Maine. The man was reported missing by his wife, who called Coast Guard Group Portland. She reported that he left home with his 6-foot silver flat-bottom boat in the back of his truck. The truck was found empty near a Saco River boat launch. The Coast Guard searched for two days, saturating the entire length of the river from the mouth to the dam. Local authorities, including the Saco Police Department, the Biddeford Police Department, Maine Marine Patrol, Maine State Police and dive teams continued to search along the river. (June 29)

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)

4-year-old saved

Station Annapolis, Md.

A 4-year-old girl was rescued after becoming separated from her family while swimming with her grandfather, who was later found deceased, near their 40-foot sailboat in Herring Bay, Md. The girl’s grandmother called the Coast Guard after she received a cell phone call from another child on the boat who reported the two missing. Crewmembers from Coast Guard Station Annapolis, two Maryland State Trooper helicopters, Maryland Natural Resource Police and Anne Arundel Fire Rescue teams immediately began searching. The grandmother could not give an exact position, and Coast Guard search-and-rescue controllers coached one of the four children on board to turn on the boat’s GPS and pass their location. A state trooper onshore was the first to see the swimmers in the water. The trooper reported that the man was face down in the water and that the child was moving around. The crew of a Coast Guard 25-foot rescue boat arrived at the scene and took both swimmers into the boat. The crew then took them to shore and performed CPR on the man until local EMS arrived. The man was taken by ambulance to Calvert Memorial Hospital where he was pronounced dead. The girl was released to her parents. The Coast Guard strongly recommends that all boaters wear life jackets. The child was wearing a life vest; how-ever, her grandfather was not. (June 29)

40-footer strikes pier

Station San Francisco, Calif.

The U.S. Coast Guard rescued eight people after their 40-foot motor boat collided with a pier near Hunter’s Point in San Francisco. After receiving a mayday call, the Coast Guard immediately deployed two small boats from Station San Francisco, a patrol boat from Group San Francisco and an HH-65 helicopter from Air Station San Francisco. The Coast Guard transferred all eight passengers to local paramedics waiting on a nearby pier. Three people were seriously injured and three others sustained minor injuries. All six injured people were taken to San Francisco General Hospital. The cause of the accident was under investigation by the San Francisco Police Department. (June 30)