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Coast Guard Response Sept. 2007

Recent responses from Florida and the South

Recent responses from Florida and the South

Hoisted from sinking boat

Air Station Clearwater, Fla.

A rescue crew from Coast Guard Air Station Clearwater safely hoisted an 18-year-old man from his sailboat that was sinking 15 miles south of the EconfinaRiver. The Coast Guard received a call from the young man, reporting his 25-foot sailboat had a broken rudder and was taking on water at a rate of 1 inch per minute. The Coast Guard immediately launched an HH-60 Jayhawk helicopter from Air Station Clearwater, a 25-foot rescue boat from Station Yankeetown, Fla., and a HU-25 Falcon jet from Air Station Mobile, Ala., was diverted to assist in the rescue. The young man abandoned the sinking sailboat and entered his life raft. The HH-60 rescue crew arrived on scene and safely hoisted him into the helicopter. The rescued man was being transferred to Air Station Clearwater and was reported to be in stable condition. (June 20)

Nine hours in water

Station Yankeetown, Fla.

Coast Guard Station Yankeetown rescued four people from an overturned 19-foot pleasure boat about six miles southwest of the County Road 40 boat ramp, in Yankeetown, Fla. The four boaters reported being in the water since the day before, when their boat took on two large waves and the bow of the boat went under. Station Yankeetown received a call from an off-duty Coast Guard petty officer reporting that an overturned pleasure boat was partially submerged in the WithlacoocheeRiver, in Yankeetown. Station Yankeetown immediately launched a 25-foot response boat and was on scene within 15 minutes. All of the boaters, ages 23 to 74, were recovered from the water and taken to the County Road 40 boat ramp where EMS were waiting. All four survivors were taken to SevenRiversHospital, in Crystal River, Fla. All four were wearing life jackets and were reported to be in good condition. (May 29)

Long liner takes on water

Air Station Clearwater, Fla.

A Coast Guard helicopter rescue crew saved three commercial fishermen about 85 miles east of Cape Canaveral, Fla., after the 45-foot long-lining boat began taking on water. The men were flown to Cape CanaveralHospital. The helicopter crew located two men in a life raft and safely hoisted them into the aircraft. Reports from the fishermen were that a third man had fallen out of the boat while it was taking on water, but that he did have on a life jacket. The helicopter crew was able to locate him 45 minutes later. The three men were reported to be in good condition. (June 2)

Sinking cruiser

Corpus Christi, Texas

Coast Guard Cutter Cypress returned to its homeport of Mobile, Ala., after a 13-day patrol that took the crew across the Gulf of Mexico for a variety of missions. During this patrol, while transiting near Corpus Christi, a crewmember overheard a mayday, distress call and the cutter quickly responded. With the assistance of Coast Guard Station Port Aransas’ 41-foot utility boat, the crew of Cypress rescued eight people from a sinking 30-foot cruiser, which sank minutes later. Cypress is a 225-foot seagoing buoy tender with a primary mission of servicing more than 120 aids to navigation across the gulf coast from Brownsville, Texas, to Appalachee Bay, Fla. (May 30)

Pulled from sinking boat

Station Miami Beach, Fla.

The crew of a Coast Guard cutter rescued four adults, one child and one infant from a sinking 65-foot pleasure boat, about 13 miles east of Miami Beach, Fla. The adults, along with the child and infant, left Bayside Marina in downtown Miami and were heading toward Bimini, Bahamas, when the boat started sinking. One of the passengers on board notified search-and-rescue coordinators at Coast Guard Sector Miami via VHF channel 16, reporting that the boat was taking on water in the engine room. The cutter and a Coast Guard Station Miami Beach small boat responded to the mayday call. The crew of the cutter arrived at the sinking boat first along with a good Samaritan and pulled all the people off as the boat was sinking. The six people were then transferred to a Miami-Dade Fire Rescue for transport to a nearby marina. No injuries were reported. (May 31)

Caught in a storm

AirStationElizabethCity, N.C.

The Coast Guard rescued the crews of two sailboats caught in a storm packing 35-mph winds and 40-foot seas along the coast of North and South Carolina. The first rescue took place when five men aboard a 44-foot sailboat requested to be removed after it became disabled in 30-foot seas and 40-mph winds, 275 miles east of Charleston, S.C. The Coast Guard launched a C-130 airplane from Air Station Elizabeth City, N.C., and diverted the 846-foot Bahamas flagged Automated Mutual Assistance Vessel Rescue vessel CMA CGM Puget to assist. After arriving on scene the crew of the sailboat was safely transferred aboard Puget which planned on transporting them to Bermuda. The second rescue took place soon after when the Coast Guard C-130 crew, flying on the previous case, was contacted by the crew of a 34-foot sailboat, who also requested to be removed from their boat which was caught in the same storm 160 miles southeast of Cape Fear, N.C. A Coast Guard helicopter crew from Air Station Elizabeth City, N.C., airlifted the crew of the second sailboat and transported them to the WilmingtonAirport. (June 3)

Smuggling vessel disabled

Station Fort Myers Beach, Fla.

Crews from Station Fort Myers Beach, disabled a 29-foot go-fast smuggling boat headed outbound from San Carlos Bay, in Sanibel Island, Fla. The Coast Guard crew came across the boat during a routine law-enforcement patrol. The boat had two 250-hp Suzuki outboard engines and 25 15-gallon fuel tanks on board. When the crew came alongside the boat, the go-fast made an attempt to ram the Coast Guard boat and began to flee. A second Coast Guard boat from Station Fort Myers Beach was on scene five minutes later. The two Coast Guard crews continued to pursue the boat 18 miles southwest of Sanibel Island. The go-fast made several attempts to ram both Coast Guard boats. Coast Guard crewmembers used law-enforcement tactics and disabled the go-fast. Two men on board the go-fast were taken into custody and transferred to Customs and Border Protection where they will be charged with several violations, including attempted assault of a Federal Law-Enforcement Officer. Immigration and Customs Enforcement was the lead investigator. (June 9)

Athlete found deceased

Station New Orleans, La.

The Coast Guard was searching for a man who was reported missing in Lake Pontchartrain. The missing man was Marquise Hill, 25, a New Orleans native and defensive end for the New England Patriots. The Coast Guard suspended the search after he was found deceased in Lake Pontchartrain. Hill was found by Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries and transferred to the New Orleans coroners office. Rescue Boat Crews from Coast Guard Station New Orleans and a rescue helicopter crew from Coast Guard Air Station New Orleans had searched throughout the night for Hill. (May 28)

Capsized sailboat

Station Dauphin Island, Ala.

The Coast Guard rescued a man in Mobile Bay after his sailboat capsized. Coast Guard Sector Mobile received a call from a good Samaritan stating he observed a capsized sailboat a few miles from shore in the bay. Sector Mobile immediately launched a Coast Guard HU-25 Falcon Jet rescue crew from Aviation Training Center Mobile, Ala., and a Coast Guard 41-foot small-boat rescue crew from Station Dauphin Island, Ala. The rescue boat crew located the overturned sailboat with no passengers aboard. Coast Guard Sector Mobile received a call from the victim via his cell phone stating he was floating in the water about a mile from his overturned boat. With updated information, the HU-25 rescue crew was able to locate the man in the water and pass his position to the Coast Guard small-boat rescue crew who retrieved and transported the man to shore. The man, who had been wearing a life jacket, was released with no injuries and the capsized sailboat was marked as a hazard to navigation. The owner of the sailboat was scheduled to retrieve the vessel. (June 5)