Disabled and adrift
Air Station Elizabeth City, N.C.
A man sailing alone from Rhode Island to Bermuda was rescued after his 34-foot sailboat was disabled in gale-force winds about 260 miles northwest of Bermuda. The 48-year-old man was safely brought aboard a motor vessel, one of two vessels that participated in his rescue. The search began when the Coast Guard rescue Coordination Center Norfolk received an emergency position indicating radio beacon from the sailboat. A C-130 airplane from Air Station Elizabeth City, N.C., was launched. Upon arriving on-scene the C-130 was able to contact the sailboat operator by radio and remained in communication with him until his recovery. The rescued sailor was to remain on board the motor vessel until its next port of call, Port Alfred, Canada. (Nov. 10)
Yacht taking on water
Sector Charleston, S.C.
Coast Guard personnel rescued six people after their 110-foot commercial yacht began taking on water about 47 miles east off Winyah Bay, S.C. The commercial yacht from Clinton, Conn., was headed to Fort Lauderdale, Fla., when the ship’s propellers became caught on an unknown object. The crew of the yacht lost the ability to steer and began rapidly taking on water in the 10-foot seas. The crew called rescue coordinators at Sector Charleston’s operation center for help. Rescue coordinators diverted Cutter Legare that was transiting in the area to assist the crew. A rescue and repair team from Legare was sent aboard the yacht to begin de-watering. Meanwhile, the rescue coordinators sent a helicopter from Coast Guard Air Facility Charleston and a helicopter from Air Station Savannah, Ga., to hoist the people from the yacht to safety aboard Legare. Rescue coordinators sent Cutter Yellowfin to relieve Legare, which was headed south for a Caribbean Sea patrol. The yacht eventually broke free of its obstruction. Yellowfin was expected to arrive shortly after and attempt to tow the yacht to safe waters. (Oct. 28)
Fishermen reported overdue
Station Georgetown, S.C.
Local, state and federal rescue agencies were searching for two overdue recreational fishermen about one-mile off of Cape Romain, S.C. The 45- and 46-year-old men left from Buckhall Landing in McClellanville, S.C., on a 21-foot recreational fishing boat for a fishing trip. They told family members that they would be returning at about 11 a.m. When the two men failed to return home, the family contacted the Coast Guard at 7 p.m. Rescue coordinators at Coast Guard Sector Charleston launched a rescue boat from Coast Guard Station Georgetown, S.C., a rescue boat from Coast Guard Station Charleston and a rescue helicopter from Coast Guard Air Facility Charleston. Rescue coordinators were also receiving help from Charleston County Rescue, Winyah Bay Rescue and the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources. The South Carolina DNR has checked Buckhall Landing in Francis Marion National Forest, S.C., to ensure that the missing men’s truck and trailer were still at the landing. (Nov. 10)
Crew abandons ship
Station Key West, Fla.
Coast Guardsmen from Coast Guard Station Key West rescued four people from a life raft after their 53-foot pleasure boat struck the jetty at the Northwest Channel and began to sink. The four boaters aboard the boat were traveling inbound the channel when they reportedly clipped the jetty and began to take on water. The boaters called 911 and the Coast Guard was called by the 911 operator. Station Key West immediately launched both their 23-foot and 27-foot rescue boats while an HH-65 Dolphin helicopter was launched from Air Station Miami. Arriving at the scene, the crew of the Station Key West 27-foot boat found a debris field and began a search. They spotted the life raft soon after. The four boaters were taken to Station Key West. No injuries were reported. (Oct. 26)
Adrift for days
Air Station Miami, Fla.
A Coast Guard Air Station Clearwater C-130 crew assisted in the rescue of a Bahamian citizen after he spent four days adrift at sea. The 52-year-old man was discovered in an 18-foot Boston Whaler by a cruise ship. The cruise ship called Coast Guard Sector Miami who immediately launched an HH-65 Dolphin rescue helicopter from Air Station Miami to hoist the man from the disabled vessel. The Air Station Clearwater C-130 assisted the rescue by coordinating positions and standing by overhead for about 2-1/2 hours while awaiting arrival of the rescue helicopter from Miami. The rescue helicopter hoisted the man and transported him to Fort Pierce Airport where he was met by awaiting EMS, transferred to Lawnwood Hospital in Port St. Lucie, and treated for exposure and dehydration prior to release. (Nov. 18)
Overboard without a PFD
Station Traverse City, Mich.
A fisherman is dead after falling overboard on the St. Mary’s River. The man was fishing from a small fishing boat near Sault Ste. Marie when he apparently fell overboard and was pulled underwater by the river’s current. He was not wearing a life jacket at the time of the accident, and became pinned on the upstream side of the dam located on the river. An HH-65 rescue helicopter from Traverse City was initially launched to the scene. However, rescuers were unable to recover the 69-year-old fisherman because of the river’s strong current. The floodgates at the dam were eventually closed to allow divers to recover his body. He was pulled from the water just after noon. (Oct. 26)