Recent responses from North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia
Recent responses from North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia
Disabled in 20-foot seas
A sailboat that was disabled off the coast of Bermuda has received a fuel transfer and made effective repairs to return to Bermuda. The 45-foot sailboat, home-ported in Glastonbury, Conn., was disabled about 180 miles north of Bermuda amid 20-foot seas and 50-knot winds. The sailboat, with three people on board, reported loss of the main sail, engine and steering. A motor vessel which was in the area agreed to assist. A Coast Guard C-130 airplane from Air Station Elizabeth City, N.C., was also launched to provide air cover. The motor vessel arrived at the sailboat and completed a fuel transfer. The sailboat’s master made repairs to the rudder and planned to motor back to Bermuda. (Nov. 23)
After capsize, swim ashore
Three people were rescued after the 24-foot boat they were riding on capsized in the mouth of the Little River in Albemarle Sound, N.C. A 54-year-old man, 22-year-old man and 29-year-old woman were rescued by a Coast Guard HH-60 Jayhawk rescue helicopter from Air Station Elizabeth City, N.C., after swimming ashore. Two of the survivors were wearing life vests while the third was wearing a wetsuit. The onset of winter brings lower water temperatures and with it increased chances of boaters getting hypothermia. Because water absorbs heat 25 times faster than air, increased protection against exposure can improve the time a boater has to exit the water if they fall overboard. Most body heat is lost through the extremities, and boaters should take steps to ensure that they are protected. For instance, about 50 percent of heat loss occurs from the head. Wearing gear designed for exposure, such as dry suits, aids in ensuring a safe recreational experience. (Dec. 2)
Catamaran collision rescue
Station Georgetown, S.C.
A woman was rescued after Coast Guard Station Georgetown received a distress call from about two miles south of the Winyah Bay, S.C., entrance. The 60-year-old woman was rescued from her 34-foot catamaran; it apparently struck an unknown object near the Georgetown entrance. Coast Guard Sector Charleston, S.C., issued an Urgent Marine Information Broadcast while the crew of Station Georgetown launched their 41-foot rescue boat and Air Facility Charleston launched a rescue helicopter after the woman called “mayday.” Coast Guard Sector Charleston maintained communications with the woman, and directed surface and air search assets to the scene. The rescue boat and helicopter arrived on scene about one hour after the initial distress call. After Station Georgetown’s 41-foot rescue boat placed the disabled catamaran in stern tow, the woman reported severe flooding in the starboard portion of the boat. Station Georgetown’s crew embarked the catamaran with dewatering gear but were unable to keep up with the flooding. All personnel were evacuated from the boat prior to it submerging. The rescued woman was transported safely to Station Georgetown and was in good condition. The catamaran is being salvaged by a commercial salvage company. Sector Charleston was broadcasting a warning over VHF marine radio for other boaters to steer clear of the partially submerged boat. (Dec. 18)
Well-prepared boater rescued
Station Wachapreague, Va.
The Coast Guard received notification of an overdue boat with a 40-year-old man on board, which had launched out of Folly Creek. Station Wachapreague launched a 21-foot rescue boat and Coast Guard Air Station Elizabeth City launched an HH-60J helicopter. Station Wachapreague located the man and his disabled boat off Metompkin Inlet. He was in good condition and taken in tow back to Wachapreague. The crew of Station Wachapreague credits the man for being well-prepared by filing a float plan with his family, having a life jacket, and having flares. (Dec. 25)
Station Little Creek, Va.
Two people were rescued after the 15-foot sailboat they were on capsized near the first island on the south end of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel. A 47-foot rescue boat from Station Little Creek along with a Navy rescue helicopter from Chambers Air Field and members of the Virginia Beach Fire-Rescue Marine Unit participated in the search for the missing boaters, who were recovered by the fire-rescue team. In addition to wearing life vests, one of the boaters was wearing a wetsuit while the other wore a dry suit. The onset of winter brings lower water temperatures and with it increased chances of boaters getting hypothermia. Wearing gear designed for exposure, such as dry suits, aids in ensuring a safe recreational experience. (Nov. 29)
Carolina boaters missing
Sector Charleston, S.C.
Two people were rescued by a good Samaritan in Bull’s Bay, S.C., after they were reported overdue by family earlier in the evening. The missing 44-year-old boater left from Moore’s Landing that morning on his 23-foot crab boat and was scheduled to return at about 1 p.m. When he and his crewman did not return, a concerned family member called 911 around 6:30 p.m. Charleston County Dispatch notified rescue coordinators at Coast Guard Sector Charleston, who began coordinating a search for the two crabbers using two Charleston County Police boats, four South Carolina Department of Natural Resources boats and a DNR helicopter, and a Coast Guard rescue boat and helicopter. Rescue coordinators also issued an urgent marine information broadcast on marine VHF radio channel 16 to all boaters monitoring the international distress channel to be on the lookout for the two missing boaters in the vicinity of Bull’s Bay. Rescue coordinators concentrated their search efforts and information broadcasts in and around Bull’s Bay because of reports from the family. The good Samaritan rescued the two missing boaters in a marshy area of the bay. The two crabbers are reportedly in good condition and are being brought back to Moore’s Landing. (Nov. 29)
Rescued after sailboat sinks
Two people were rescued after their sailboat struck a submerged object and quickly sank about 120 miles south of Bermuda. The master used his sailboat’s VHF radio to contact the Coast Guard, and contacted the RescueCoordinationCenter in Bermuda with an iridium satellite phone to let them know his location, the nature of the distress and the actions being taken to get off the sailboat before it sank. The Coast Guard launched a C-130 search and rescue plane from Air Station Elizabeth City, N.C., and diverted a motor vessel to rescue the two people from their lifeboat. Upon arriving on scene the C-130 was able to establish communications with the two adrift sailors by way of the captain’s hand-held VHF radio, and remained on scene and in contact with them until the merchant vessel arrived and took them aboard. A Coast Guard official remarked that the men rescued themselves by being so prepared. (Dec. 21)