Coast Guard Response Report – Mid-Atlantic

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Recent responses from the Carolinas and Virginia

Recent responses from the Carolinas and Virginia

Atop overturned hull

Station Hatteras Inlet, N.C.

Two men were rescued from their capsized boat about 2 miles off Hatteras Island, N.C. A 65-year-old man and a 51-year-old man were sitting on top of their 16-foot capsized pleasure boat when someone from the shore noticed them and contacted 911. The cause of the capsize was unknown at the time. Once notified, a 47-foot rescue from Station Hatteras Inlet launched to assist and located the men. The crew of the rescue boat pulled the men to safety and transferred them back to the station. The men did not require medical attention. Both men were wearing a life jacket, which the Coast Guard recommends for all boaters when on the water. (April 25)

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Sailors caught in storm

Air Station Elizabeth City, N.C.

Two sailors were airlifted from their double-masted sailboat after it was beset by heavy weather 22 miles southeast of Oregon Inlet, N.C. A 52-year-old man and a 42-year-old woman requested to be removed from the 60-foot sailboat when it started to run low on fuel and its sails began to deteriorate in 15-foot seas and 30-knot winds. The two were hoisted off of their sailboat by the crew of an HH-60 search and rescue helicopter from Air Station Elizabeth City, N.C., and received treatment from local EMS personnel after the helicopter returned to the air station. (April 30)

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Thrown from boat

Station Georgetown, S.C.

Rescue crews have suspended the search for a man who was reported missing after being thrown from his boat in Winyah Bay, S.C. The 42-year-old man was boating with a friend when they apparently hit a sandbar, which threw them both from the boat into the water. Only one of the men made it back to the boat. Rescue crews searched the area with rescue helicopters from Air Station Savannah, Ga., and rescue boats from Station Georgetown, S.C., South Carolina Dept. of Natural Resources and Winyah Bay Marine Rescue. A helicopter from Charleston County Sheriff’s Office also assisted in the search. (May 7)

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Adrift at night

Station Cape Charles, Va.

Three boaters who spent the night drifting in the Chesapeake Bay after their boat became disabled were located by the Coast Guard. The search for the 19-foot boat began after one of the boaters used a cell phone to contact 911. A Coast Guard HH-60 search and rescue helicopter from Air Station Elizabeth City, N.C., a 41-foot boat from Station Cape Charles, Va., the Hampton Police Department, and a fireboat from the Hampton Fire Department were involved in the search. The boaters were spotted by the Coast Guard helicopter crew about five miles off Back River, and they were towed into port by the 41-foot Coast Guard boat and the Hampton fireboat. The three boaters were going fishing near Yorktown and experienced mechanical difficulties on their return to the dock. One of the men called a friend who searched for them for two hours without success. The men mistakenly reported they were off Langley Air Force base, but they were actually off the Plumtree National Wildlife Preserve. They made three cell phone calls to 911, but all three calls were truncated due to low battery power in the phone. The men did not have a VHF radio on board. Coast Guard search and rescue controllers worked with Verizon Wireless to narrow a search area based on the towers the cell phone had used to make the 911 calls. Crews worked through the night searching the bay and Back River, and it was on the last leg of their search that the Coast Guard helicopter spotted the boat. The crew had just taken off from Langley Air Force Base after they hit a bird and landed to make sure it had not caused any damage. They planned to head back to Elizabeth City after this final search run. None of the men was wearing a life jacket when the vessel was found, and the boat was missing key safety gear such as flares and a VHF radio. The Coast Guard urges all boaters to wear life jackets at all times, and to always bring a VHF radio on board. It is illegal not to keep flares on a boat. (May 1)