Recent responses from Florida
Maintaining an edge
A Coast Guard HH-65 Dolphin rescue helicopter crew from Aviation Training Center Mobile gets in position to medavac a man from a Coast Guard 41-foot response boat as part of a search-and-rescue exercise Oct. 17 at the Panama City Marina.
Pleasure vs. commercial boat
Air Station Clearwater, Fla.
The Coast Guard medically evacuated a 75-year-old man suffering from lacerations to his arms, after his catamaran and a commercial fishing boat collided about 10 miles southwest of Cedar Key, Fla.The man and his wife were aboard their 44-foot catamaran when it collided with the 40-foot commercial fishing boat. The wife reported the incident to the Coast Guard, and an HH-60 Jayhawk rescue helicopter from Coast Guard Air Station Clearwater arrived on scene to medevac the man. He was brought to Air Station Clearwater where an ambulance transferred him to Blake Memorial Hospital in Sarasota, Fla., in stable condition. The fishing boat had three people onboard and began taking on water after the collision. The crewmembers were able to stop the flooding and steer the boat back to its home port. The Coast Guard was investigating the cause of the collision. (Oct. 5)
Afloat near sinking boat
Air Station Miami, Fla.
The Coast Guard Auxiliary rescued two men from the water near their partially submerged boat two miles east of Black Point Marina in Key Biscayne, Fla. A search-and-rescue coordinator at Coast Guard Sector Miami received notification from Sea Tow that a boat was taking on water with two people aboard in Biscayne Bay. A Coast Guard Air Station Miami HH-65C Helicopter crew and a Coast Guard Auxiliary small boat crew were launched to search for the persons in the water. HH-65C Helicopter crewmembers located a man and woman in the water, both of whom were wearing life jackets and notified the Coast Guard Auxiliary of their position. Auxiliary crewmembers arrived on scene and brought the two safely aboard their boat. Both individuals were in good condition awaiting transfer to a commercial salvage boat. (Oct. 12)
Rescue call cut short
Station St. Petersburg, Fla.
Rescue crews from Coast Guard Station St. Petersburg and Coast Guard Air Station Clearwater, Fla., rescued three men after their 17-foot boat overturned near Egmont Key in Tierra Verde. The three men were rescued after watchstanders from Coast Guard Station Sand Key, in Clearwater, Fla., received a call from one of the men, reporting his boat was capsizing near Fort Desoto Park, Fla., with three men aboard. The cell phone call was dropped before Coast Guard watchstanders could get more information. Coast Guard Sector St. Petersburg immediately launched a 25-foot response-boat crew from Coast Guard Station St. Petersburg and diverted an HH-60 Jayhawk rescue helicopter crew from Coast Guard Air Station Clearwater. The helicopter crew arrived on scene and discovered the overturned boat with the three men clinging to a nearby range tower about a half-mile north of Egmont Key. The crew lowered a VHF marine radio to the men, verified that they made the original distress call and maintained radio communication until the Coast Guard Station St. Petersburg rescue crew arrived. The Station St. Petersburg rescue crew brought the three men aboard and took them to an awaiting EMS at the Fort Desoto boat ramp. Marine units from the Pinellas County Sheriffs Office, Eckerd SAR (Search-and-Rescue) and Fort Desoto Park Rangers also assisted in the rescue. The water temperature was 85 degrees, with 2- to 4-foot seas and 25-knot winds. (Oct. 15)
This story originally appeared in the January 2009 issue.