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Coast Guard Response Report

Recent responses from North Carolina and the Mid-Atlantic

Trouble in heavy weather

Air Station Elizabeth City, N.C.

A Coast Guard helicopter crew rescued three people from a sailboat that was malfunctioning in heavy weather near Oregon Inlet. Dare County 911 notified the Coast Guard that they received a call from the crew of a sailboat stating they were listing heavily to one side and had a fouled propeller. Coast Guard members from Station Oregon Inlet gained visual contact with the sailboat and launched a 47-foot motor life boat to assist, but the crew of the sailboat went hard aground inside the inlet and anchored the boat in water too shallow for the station’s motor life boat to transit. A Coast Guard HH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew from Coast Guard Air Station Elizabeth City, N.C., diverted to assist. When they arrived on scene, they hoisted all three crewmembers aboard the helicopter and transported them safely to Station Oregon Inlet. (Oct. 19)

Autumn Work

Crewmembers aboard the 225-foot Coast Guard Cutter Juniper service buoys and check lights as the buoys are brought to sea Oct. 20. Juniper crew is working to extend the Ambrose Channel that goes to  the waters of New York and New Jersey, to allow ships with a deeper draft to transit in. 

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Clinging to a life raft

Station Stillpond, Md.

The Coast Guard rescued two people in the Elk River, near the mouth of the Bohemia River, after both people fell off their raft. A 54-year-old woman and a 59-year-old man were rescued. A commercial tug notified Coast Guard Sector Baltimore watchstanders via VHF radio that people holding onto a life raft were yelling for help. Coast Guard Station Stillpond launched a 25-foot response boat crew and arrived on scene to find two people, not wearing life jackets, in the water clinging onto the side of their life raft. The two were transferred into the rescue boat and then transported to a marina in Chesapeake City, Md., where they were met by Cecil County EMS. (Sept. 21)

Partially sunken boat found

Station Hobucken, N.C.

Multiple agencies were searching for a man in Pamlico Sound, N.C., after another boater found an 18-to-20-foot fiberglass boat in the vicinity of Durham Creek in the Pamlico Sound with the bow sticking out of the water and debris drifting down the creek. The boater reported his findings to Coast Guard Station Hobucken watchstanders. Coast Guardsmen traced hull numbers on the boat to the owner, who reported he loaned the boat to his coworker. The missing man departed the northern shore of Pamlico River to check crab pots on the southern shore. Life jackets were found and it was reported the man couldn’t swim. A Station Hobucken rescue boat crew was searching along with Cherry Point Marine Corps Air Station’s Pedro helicopter crew, Sea Tow Pamlico and North Carolina Marine Patrol. The Beaufort County Sheriff’s Department was sending divers, and a helicopter crew from Coast Guard Air Station Elizabeth City, N.C., had been diverted to relieve the Marines’ helicopter crew. (Sept. 23)

Body of missing boater found

Station Barnegat Light, N.J.

The Coast Guard recovered the body of a 64-year-old man who disappeared from a 40-foot sailboat in Barnegat Inlet. The Coast Guard received a call from a crewman aboard a fishing boat reporting they found a body five-and-a-half miles south of Barnegat Inlet. A boat crew from Coast Guard Station Barnegat Light arrived on scene and recovered the body. The body was transported to Station Barnegat Light and then transferred to the Ocean County Medical Examiner Office. The Coast Guard had suspended the search earlier in the day. The Coast Guard originally received a call reporting the sailboat in Barnegat Inlet with no one aboard. The reporting source stated they saw the owner of the boat taking down his sails before entering the inlet. Rescue boat crews from Coast Guard Station Barnegat Light, rescue helicopter crews from Coast Guard Air Station Atlantic City, N.J., the crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Ibis, members of the New Jersey State Police and local authorities assisted in the search. (Oct. 7)

Aground on a sand bar

Station Hatteras Inlet, N.C.

The Coast Guard rescued two people aboard a 28-foot pleasure boat that ran aground in Pamlico Sound, N.C. Watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector North Carolina received a call from a crewman aboard the boat reporting they ran aground on a sand bar in the Pamlico Sound and needed assistance. A helicopter crew from Coast Guard Air Station Elizabeth City, N.C., located the vessel, and a rescue boat crew from Coast Guard Station Hatteras Inlet, N.C., arrived on scene and transported the two people to a boatyard in Buxton, N.C. (Oct. 9)

Sailor needs assistance

Station Fort Macon, N.C.

The Coast Guard medevaced a 56-year-old man from a sailboat in Taylor’s Creek, N.C. The Coast Guard received a call from a member of the Carteret County 911 dispatch reporting a man aboard a sailboat was ill and needed medical assistance. A rescue boat crew from Coast Guard Station Fort Macon, N.C., arrived on scene and transported the man to Beaufort, N.C., and transferred him to emergency medical personnel. The man was taken to Carteret General Hospital in Moorehead City, N.C., for further treatment. (Oct. 9)

Three rescued, one missing

Station St. Inigoes, Md.

The Coast Guard suspended its search for a missing man in the Patuxent River. Coast Guard Station St. Inigoes, Md., and Station Oxford, Md., continued searches throughout the night and into the morning. Coast Guard Air Station Atlantic City, N.J., conducted a first-light search. Four people were ejected from a 35-foot cigarette boat after reportedly striking a sand bar in the vicinity of Point Patient. A good Samaritan who was in the area at the time, recovered three of the people from the water and transferred them to awaiting emergency services. The Natural Resource Police (NRP) and Calvert County Fire and Rescue were searching for the remaining man. (Oct. 13)

Five aboard disabled boat

Station Annapolis, Md.

The Coast Guard rescued five people south of the Bay Bridge in Annapolis, Md. Coast Guard Sector Baltimore was notified that five people aboard a 28-foot Bayliner were lost, and seasick and also that the boat was disabled. The Coast Guard talked to the owner, who said they did not have a GPS onboard. Sector Baltimore was able to get the boat’s position from T-Mobile using the cell phone’s signal. A boat crew from Coast Guard Station Annapolis arrived on scene and towed the disabled boat to a marina in the West River. (Oct. 19)  

This story originally appeared in the January 2009 issue.