Coast Guard Response Report – Florida – October 2006

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Recent responses from Florida and other states

Recent responses from Florida and other states

Clinging to a cooler

Station Marathon, Fla.

The Coast Guard was searching for a 54-year-old man who went missing in the waters near Sombrero Light, five miles southeast of Marathon Island, Fla. The man was last seen clinging to a red and white cooler after the dinghy in which he and two friends had been fishing tipped over. Two of the three made it to shore and notified Station Marathon that their friend was missing. Crew members from Station Marathon, an HH-65 Dolphin helicopter from Air Station Miami, a small boat from cutter Farralon, a Coast Guard Auxiliary aircraft and a patrol boat from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission were all searching the area where the man was last seen. (July 22)

Swamped during tow

Station St. Petersburg, Fla.

Coast Guard Station St. Petersburg located an overdue boater just south of Apollo Beach, Fla. Coast Guard Sector St. Petersburg received a report from the wife of a 46-year-old man that he was overdue and expected home. The man was in a 15-foot jonboat towing a 29-foot sailboat when the engine was swamped by a passing vessel. St. Petersburg launched a 25-foot rescue boat at about 3 a.m. and located the man disabled and adrift. Station St. Petersburg called the man’s son to the location and assisted the two in making arrangements to tow the boats. (July 17)

24 hours in ocean

Air Station Clearwater, Fla.

A man is recuperating in a hospital after being in the ocean for 24 hours after he fell over the side of his boat. The 34-year-old man was found approximately two miles north of his 32-foot boat after an extensive search by the Coast Guard, Navy and local search and rescue crews. The search began after the man’s beached boat was discovered by security personnel on Cape Canaveral Air Force Base with a dead black Labrador on board and the engine still running. After being spotted by the Navy, the man was picked up by a Coast Guard HH-60 helicopter crew from Air Station Clearwater, Fla., and taken to Holmes Regional Medical Center. He reported to authorities that he was knocked over the side of his boat by an unexpected wave, and wasn’t wearing his life jacket. (July 12)

Capsize with 5 aboard

Station Pensacola, Fla.

The Coast Guard was searching for two individuals after the boat they were on capsized in Santa Rosa Sound, Florida, east of the Bob Sykes Bridge. The Coast Guard received the call that a 17-foot jonboat capsized in Santa Rosa Sound with five men aboard. Three of the men were wearing life jackets and were picked up by a good Samaritan. The two individuals who were not wearing life jackets remained missing. Searching for the two individuals were a rescue boat crew from Coast Guard Station Pensacola, Fla., an HH-65 rescue helicopter crew from Coast Guard Air Station New Orleans, Escambia County EMS, Escambia County Sheriff’s Office and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. (July 4)

Empty boat found

Station Miami Beach, Fla.

The Coast Guard has suspended its search efforts for a 42-year-old man, pending any further development. The man was last seen by family members before he left for Crandon Park Marina on Key Biscayne, Fla. A Miami Beach police officer located his 18-foot boat at Virginia Beach Park and reported it to the Coast Guard. Some personal belongings were found in the boat including the man’s wallet and keys. His vehicle and trailer were also found parked at the marina. The Coast Guard, along with local and state agencies, searched the waters around Virginia Key and Key Biscayne without finding the man. A recreational boater located a body near Matheson Hammock Park and notified authorities. Miami-Dade coroner’s office was called in to identify the individual. (July 4)

Search for missing diver

Station Lake Worth Inlet, Fla.

The Coast Guard was searching for a recreational scuba diver who was reported missing by a crewmember on board a commercial dive boat. The 59-year-old man was scuba diving one mile off Lake Worth Inlet, Fla., and was reportedly 15 minutes overdue from his scheduled 45-minute dive. A Coast Guard rescue crew from Station Lake Worth Inlet immediately launched to search the area. A Coast Guard helicopter crew from Air Station Miami was also on scene to assist with the search. (July 6)

Into a life raft

Station Venice, La.

Coast Guard search and rescue personnel from Station Venice, Air Station New Orleans, and the cutter Pompano rescued three fishermen from a life raft approximately 20 miles south of Southwest Pass, La. The Coast Guard received a report from the crew aboard the research vessel Tommy Munro that an 80-foot shrimp boat was engulfed in flames. Coast Guard Sector New Orleans dispatched a 41-foot boat crew from Station Venice, an HH-65C rescue helicopter crew from Air Station New Orleans, and the crew of the cutter Pompano. Tommy Munro stayed on scene and assisted with the search for the boat’s crew. Upon arriving at the scene, the helicopter crew reported seeing three persons aboard a life raft wearing lifejackets approximately two nautical miles from the burning boat. Pompano was directed to the life raft its crew rescued the three fishermen. The fishermen were transferred to the Station Venice boat crew and transported to shore. Pompano crewreturned to the burning boat and extinguished the fire. (July 7)

Caught in a storm

Station Annapolis, Md.

The Coast Guard saved a married couple a mile-and-a-half from Bloody Point Light, Md., after their sailboat’s propeller became fouled during a severe thunderstorm. A crew from Station Annapolis rescued the two after a report that the 28-foot Mirage had lost its anchor during the storm. The anchor line had wrapped around the boat’s propeller, then dropped and held the sailboat fast, disabling the boat in 5-foot seas and gusts up to 70 knots. A 25-foot rescue boat from the station got under way. By the time the four-person Coast Guard crew arrived, the seas and winds had calmed, but were picking back up because of another storm on the way. After taking the couple off the sailboat, the Coast Guard crew loosened the anchor line enough to cut it and take the boat in tow to a marina in West River. (July 4)

Hoisted from grounded boat

Air Station Atlantic City, N.J.

A Coast Guard air crew assisted a stranded boater, hoisting him from his grounded boat in Diners Point Creek in West Creek, N.J. The 67-year-old man notified the Coast Guard that his 20-foot deck boat had run aground. A Coast Guard HH-65C rescue helicopter crew from Air Station Atlantic City was launched to remove the man from the pleasure boat. After he was hoisted aboard the aircraft, he was transported to the air station, where he wasin good condition. A commercial marine salvage company was contacted to retrieve the man’s boat. (July 13)

Separated from boat

Station Curtis Bay, Md.

A Coast Guard crew rescued a man and a woman after they were swept away by the current in the Middle River near Hart-Miller Island, Md. The two ended up in the water after the man jumped in and was unable to return to their boat. The woman, wearing a life jacket, jumped in to try to help him and was also unable to return. After the three people remaining on board tried unsuccessfully to start the boat and retrieve them, they called Sea Tow Services, which, in turn, called the Coast Guard for help. A 25-foot rescue boat from Coast Guard Station Curtis Bay, Md., was in the vicinity and pulled the swimmers to safety. Sea Tow took the disabled boat to shore. (July 15)

Vessel taking on water

Station Manasquan, N.J.

The Coast Guard came to the rescue of a boat taking on water a mile off the coast of New Jersey. The 42-foot wooden hull pleasure boat had radioed the Coast Guard, whichdeployed a 47-foot boat from Station Manasquan to the scene. The crew of the 47-foot boat provided extra dewatering pumps to the five people on board the pleasure boat. The pumps were able to keep up with the amount of flooding which stood at two feet of water in the boat’s bilge. Coast Guard cutter Seahorse also was directed to the scene to provide additional pumps if needed. A boat from TowBoatU.S. towed the boat back to Manasquan Inlet. (July 11)