Recent responses from Florida and around the nation
Recent responses from Florida and around the nation
Long wait for rescue
Air Station Miami, Fla.
A Coast Guard rescue crew from Air Station Miami hoisted a Miami man to safety in the Everglades after his family reported him overdue to the Coast Guard. The 59-year-old man left Flamingo, Fla., in a 19-foot jonboat and was thought to have been fishing in the North River area of the 10,000 Islands. The man’s wife called the Coast Guard to report him missing. Coast Guard search and rescue controllers in Key West, Fla., coordinated search efforts at local marinas in Flamingo as well as issuing a broadcast to mariners. A Coast Guard helicopter from Miami was launched to search for the man. The National Park Service provided background information about the area as well as joined in the search effort. Coast Guard helicopter crews searched throughout the night and the next morning. The missing man had the required survival gear for his boat, including flares, life jackets and a sound-producing device. The cause of the boat’s problem was not known. The rescued man was transferred safely to Homestead General Airport in good condition. (June 18)
Engine failure and capsize
St. Simons Island, Ga.
A good Samaritan rescued two adults and two children after the 23-foot pleasure boat capsized one mile southeast of St. Simons Island, Ga. The four were out boating when they experienced engine failure. The boat began to take on water and flipped, sending all four overboard. All passengers were wearing life jackets. A nearby good Samaritan rescued the four, who were then transferred to a Coast Guard rescue boat and taken back to a boat landing in Brunswick. (June 24)
Air Station Clearwater, Fla.
A rescue crew from Coast Guard Air Station Clearwater medevaced two children from the scene of a boating accident just north of the Pithlachascotee River channel entrance. The Coast Guard received a report from a woman, stating that her 17-foot white center console had been in an accident with her family of five on board. She reported that two of the children were suffering from severe injuries and needed immediate medical attention. The woman, her husband and one small child were not reported injured. Coast Guard Stations Yankeetown and Sand Key immediately launched rescue boats and Air Station Clearwater launched a rescue helicopter to assist in the medical evacuation of the two minors. Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission was also on scene to assist. The Coast Guard rescue helicopter flew the children and one of the adults to Tampa General Hospital. One child is reported to be suffering from a severe leg injury and the other is reportedly suffering from severe lacerations about the shoulder, arms and abdomen. Their condition at the time was unknown. The cause and circumstances of the accident was also unknown. FWC was investigating the incident. (May 27)
Boy thrown from airboat
Port Canaveral, Fla.
The Coast Guard in conjunction with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission was investigating the death of a boy who was killed after being thrown from an airboat on Lake Puzzle in Seminole County, Fla. The 7-year-old boy was riding in an airboat owned by Central Florida Airboat Tours on Lake Puzzle with his parents when the airboat struck a sand bar throwing the boy from the boat. The boy was picked up by passengers on the boat who conducted CPR on him. He was transported to waiting EMS and airlifted to a local hospital where he was pronounced dead. The Coast Guard has suspended the operator’s license to operate his airboat until investigators can determine the cause of the accident. (June 9)
Clinging to the hull
Air Station Clearwater, Fla.
A rescue crew from Air Station Clearwater pulled two people from the water two nautical miles west of Dunedin Beach, Fla. The Coast Guard received a report of a flare sighting and launched an HH-60 Jayhawk rescue helicopter from Air Station Clearwater. The helicopter crew quickly found a capsized 21-foot sailboat with two people in the water clinging to the hull. An 81-year-old man and his wife were hoisted from the water and transported to Air Station Clearwater. The two survivors were in good medical condition. The sailboat will be commercially salvaged by the owner. (June 11)
Possible missing boaters
Station Ponce Inlet, Fla.
The Coast Guard was searching for two people in the Intracoastal Waterway near Daytona, Fla., after an eyewitness reported he saw an overturned boat and its passengers in the water a half mile south of the Memorial Bridge. According to the eyewitness, he saw a capsized boat with two people in the water after a squall passed. He left to report the incident to local authorities. When he returned, the boat and people were gone. Search and rescue crews from Coast Guard Station Ponce Inlet, Daytona Police Department and the Volusia County Sheriffs Office were searching the area and found an oil sheen. The public was being urged to contact the Coast Guard with any more information. (June 12)
The Coast Guard suspended the search for a possible missing surfer at Satellite Beach, Fla. The surfer was reported missing near the “old” Ramada Inn and RC’s, a popular surf spot. A witness reported seeing a surfer struggle about 300 yards offshore at RC’s and called rescue crews from the Coast Guard and the Satellite Beach Police Department. When rescue crews arrived to assist the person was no longer visible from shore, and crews could not locate him offshore. Rescue crews and coordinators decided to suspend the search after thoroughly searching the area where the surfer was reported missing and receiving no information from the public that would warrant continuing the search. Coast Guard rescue crews searched more than 135 square miles with surface and air assets and found nothing that would indicate someone was in distress off Satellite Beach. The Satellite Beach Police Department conducted a thorough shoreline search of Satellite Beach and found no debris or signs of distress. The Satellite Beach Police Department also followed up on several leads provided by the public to Coast Guard Station Port Canaveral, Fla., and found no reason to continue the search. Coast Guard crews suspended the search pending further developments, and if circumstances required more searches or further investigation, rescue crews and coordinators were standing by. However, no rescue crews will be actively searching the waters off Satellite Beach. (June 9)
Rescued after capsize
Station Miami Beach, Fla.
Coast Guard rescue crews from Station Miami Beach pulled two people from the water after their 12-foot boat capsized a mile south of the Cape Florida Lighthouse on Key Biscayne. The two fell into the water but were able to keep a cell phone from getting wet and called the Coast Guard for help. A Coast Guard helicopter crew from Air Station Miami was returning from a routine patrol in the area and spotted the two boaters in the water immediately after the call for help came in. The helicopter crew was able to direct the Coast Guard rescue crew from Station Miami directly toward the distressed boaters. The rescue team immediately pulled the two people safely onto the Coast Guard vessel and checked for injuries. Neither reported any injuries and none were discovered by the Coast Guard team. (June 14)
Stations Milford Haven, Portsmouth and Cape Charles, Va.
Six people were pulled from a burning boat by good Samaritans in the vicinity of the mouth of the York River after a 52-foot Hatteras caught fire. Coast Guard Sector Hampton Roads received a mayday call from the pleasure boat. The Coast Guard issued an Urgent Marine Information Broadcast and launched boats from Coast Guard Stations Milford Haven, Portsmouth and Cape Charles. Two good Samaritan boats responded to the UMIB and pulled all six people from the stricken boat before the Coast Guard arrived on scene. Two Hampton Fire and Rescue boats arrived to fight the fire, but the boat burned completely and sank. There were no injuries or pollution. All six rescued boaters were taken to the Norfolk Yacht Club by the good Samaritan boats. (June 16)