Coast Guard response report

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Small-boat mystery

Station Point Judith, R.I.

The Coast Guard is no longer searching the Point Judith, R.I., area for a possible missing boater. Local authorities found the man safe at home. When the “missing” man realized his boat was missing, he assumed it was stolen and did not report its theft to local authorities. A fishing boat called Station Point Judith to report an abandoned 16-foot yellow canoe five miles southeast of Point Judith. The canoe was found with the running lights on and a pair of sunglasses, a cap and a fishing pole on board. Debris was also found not far from where the boat was sighted including a yellow bucket, and a blue cap with the words “Roll 90” on the front and the words “have fun” on the back of the cap. Coast Guard Station Point Judith conducted searches in the Point Judith area with two boats along with an HH60 helicopter from Air Station Cape Cod for around six hours as well as sending out urgent marine information broadcasts in the area. It was then that local authorities found the man at home. (June 23)

1 crew, 2 rescues

Air Station Cape Cod, Mass.

A Coast Guard aircrew from Air Station Cape Cod medevaced a 41-year-old man suffering with abdominal pain from a fishing boat 40 miles southeast of Nantucket. The crew of the boat notified Coast Guard Group Woods Hole using their VHF radio that the crewmember was suffering from severe abdominal pains and was in need of further medical assistance. The Jayhawk aircrew airlifted the man to Hyannis Airport where he was then transported by awaiting Emergency Medical Services to Cape Cod Hospital. The same aircrew assisted in the search for a person reported to be in the water near Duxbury, Mass., two hours prior to the medevac. Coast Guard Sector Boston received a call from the Plymouth harbormaster that a witness saw a 40-year-old man fall overboard from his 12-foot skiff approximately 200 yards off of Goose Point in Kingston Bay. The Coast Guard launched an HH-60J helicopter and deployed a 25-foot boat from Station Scituate to the scene to assist Plymouth and Duxbury harbormasters in the search and rescue effort. The Plymouth Harbormaster reported to the Coast Guard that they had recovered the body of the man. (June 11)

Four-day drama

Group Southwest Harbor, Maine

After four days of searching, the Coast Guard found a 57-year-old man when he called Coast Guard Group Southwest Harbor stating he was fine and was four miles south of Boothbay Harbor. The missing boater contacted the Coast Guard via channel 16, the international hailing and distress frequency, after hearing on Maine Public Radio that the Coast Guard was searching for him. A Coast Guard C-130 plane, from Elizabeth City, N.C., and an HU-25 Falcon jet, from Air Station Cape Cod were conducting searches that covered more than 1,500 square miles. Those searches were called off after the man contacted the Coast Guard and the aircraft were then diverted to support other Coast Guard missions. The Coast Guard received the initial call from the man’s brother reporting him as missing. The Coast Guard was calling out to mariners in the areas between Gloucester, Mass., and Bar Harbor, Maine, as well as checking harbors and marinas in those areas asking if the man or his boat had been seen. Coast Guard Cutter Jefferson Island talked to a boat on VHF channel 16 on June 9 discussing anchorages and then switched to VHF channel 22. During the conversation on channel 22, which is not recorded by the Coast Guard, the captain of the boat called out mayday and the transmission was lost. Coast Guard search and rescue coordinators discovered later that the Jefferson Island was communicating with the missing boat. Immediately following the lost transmission, Coast Guard Cutter Jefferson Island along with a Coast Guard utility boat from Station South Portland as well as an HU-25 Falcon jet searched for three hours without finding anything in the vicinity of the approach to Portland, Maine. (June 16)