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Coast Guard Responses - Florida

Recent responses from Florida and around the nation

Recent responses from Florida and around the nation

Mystery surrounds sailor

Air Station Clearwater, Fla.

Coast Guard crews were searching for a 69-year-old man whose 37-foot sailboat was found with no one aboard 65 miles west of Johns Pass, Fla. Coast Guard Sector St. Petersburg, Fla., received a VHF marine radio call from the master of another boat, stating that the sailboat had a broken rail and appeared to be abandoned. With permission from the Coast Guard the good Samaritan boarded the sailboat to investigate. The good Samaritan could not locate anyone aboard, and noted the last entry in the log was dated Oct. 15. The entry indicated the boater was going to anchor that day. The log also showed that he was transiting the sailboat from its homeport of Panama City, Fla., to Tampa, Fla. Search and rescue coordinators immediately launched two HH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crews from Air Station Clearwater, Fla., and diverted the Coast Guard Cutter Hawk to search for the man. A C-130 Hercules fixed-wing aircraft from Air Station Clearwater also began searching. (Oct. 19)

Alone and taking on water

Station Lake Worth Inlet, Fla.

Coast Guard search andrescue crews from Station Lake Worth Inlet, Fla., rescued a 58-year-old man from a 28-foot sailboat foundering about eight miles south of Lake Worth Inlet. Coast Guard search-and-rescue coordinators at Station Lake Worth Inlet received a cellular phone call from the wife of the man on the sailboat. She stated that the boat her husband was operating was taking on water near Lake Worth Inlet. The Coast Guard established communication with the man through cellular phone and learned there was 2 feet of water in the boat and that he needed assistance. Coast Guard crews from Air Station Miami and Station Lake Worth Inlet launched to assist. The small-boat crew from Lake Worth Inlet arrived on scene and provided him with a dewatering pump. The small-boat crew, along with sailboat operator, salvaged the boat and escorted it to a marina in Lake Worth. The sailboat operator believed the source of the flooding was somewhere in the engine room. (Oct. 11)

Disabled and adrift

Station Ponce Inlet, Fla.

A Coast Guard search and rescue crew towed a disabled 21-foot boat back to Coast Guard Station Ponce Inlet. The 38-year-old operator and two passengers were disabled and adrift seven miles east of Ponce Inlet when they called 911 for help. A Brevard County Sheriff’s Office Deputy relayed the distress call to the Coast Guard for assistance. A Coast Guard 47-foot motor life boat was launched to assist the three people aboard the disabled boat. The search and rescue crew arrived and towed the boat safely back to Station Ponce Inlet. (Oct. 13)

Search suspended for boater

Steinhatchee, Fla.

The Coast Guard suspended its search for a boater who went missing in the vicinity of the SteinhatcheeRiver. The missing 37-year-old man, along with his 54-year-old uncle, left the Steinhatchee Marina in their 19-foot boat. Some time later the boat’s engine failed and the men began drifting. The men were then reported overdue to the Coast Guard. The Coast Guard along with several federal, state and local agencies, immediately launched rescue assets to search for the men. A Patrick Air Force Base C-130 search plane located one of the men on the disabled boat, 44 miles southwest of the SteinhatcheeRiver. A Patrick Air Force Base HH-60 Jayhawk rescue helicopter safely hoisted him from the boat and brought him to a hospital in Gainesville, Fla., in good condition. According to the man, the other boater donned two life jackets, jumped overboard, and attempted to swim to shore. He was also reported to have used a cooler top as an additional flotation device. The Coast Guard’s air and marine units, Coast Guard Auxiliary air units, the Air Force, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission marine units, the Taylor County Sheriff’s Office, the Alachua County Sheriff’s Office and the Sundowner Search and Rescue Air Patrol searched 10,925 square miles for more than 80 hours with no sign of the man. (Sept. 23)

Search for missing diver

Station Lake Worth Inlet, Fla.

The Coast Guard suspended its search for a missing diver about five miles off the coast of Jupiter Inlet, Fla. The 32-year-old woman was diving off a 26-foot boat when she failed to surface after 45 minutes. The operator of the boat contacted the Coast Guard to request assistance an hour after she was expected to surface. Rescue boats from Station Lake Worth Inlet, Fla., and Station Fort Pierce, Fla., a Coast Guard HH-65 Dolphin helicopter from Air Station Miami, a Coast Guard HH-60 Jayhawk helicopter from Air Station Clearwater, Fla., an Air Station Clearwater HH-60 deployed to the Bahamas in support of Operation Bahamas, Turks and Caicos, Coast Guard Cutter Dolphin, two vessels and one helicopter from the Martin County Sheriff’s Office, and one Jupiter Island Police Department vessel aided in the search for the woman. Together the agencies searched for 30 miles and covered a total of 2,080 square miles. (Sept. 24)

Missing after fishing trip

Station New Orleans, La.

The Coast Guard located two overdue boaters at a campsite on LakeMaurepas after family members reported them overdue. CoastGuardSectorNew OrleansCommandCenter received a call from the Tangipahoa Parish Sheriff’s Office, reporting that two boaters had not returned home from a fishing trip, according to family members. The Coast Guard launched an HH-65C Rescue Helicopter crew from Coast Guard Station New Orleans, a 25-foot small boat crew from Coast Guard Station New Orleans and a Coast Guard Auxiliary crew. Coast Guard Station New Orleans located a capsized 15-foot green aluminum skiff that the boaters were reportedly aboard about one mile from the shore. An hour later, the Coast Guard helicopter crew located the two people at a campsite waving their life jackets, and relayed their position to the 25-foot smallboat crew. The two people were identified as the overdue boaters and transported to the NorthPass boat launch. (Oct. 6)

Fall over the transom

Sector Baltimore, Md.

The Coast Guard suspended its search for a 61-year-old woman who reportedly had fallen off a boat into the SassafrasRiver. Watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector Baltimore were notified by the woman’s husband who reported she had fallen off the back of their 27-foot, cuddy-cabin boat into the SassafrasRiver. The Coast Guard searched an area of about 42 square miles for more than 24 hours, without locating her. HH-65C Dolphin helicopter rescue crews from Coast Guard Air Station Atlantic City, N.J., completed six aerial search patterns, and 25-foot rescue boat crews from Coast Guard Stations Curtis Bay and Stillpond, Md., completed 15 surface search patterns. The Maryland Natural Resource Police, Cecil Country Fire and Rescue Department, Cecil Country Dive Team, Kent Country Fire and Rescue Department, Aberdeen military police and local police departments assisted the Coast Guard in the search. The husband reported that his wife was not wearing a life jacket when she entered the water. (Oct. 12)

In flames at anchor

Station Sandy Hook, N.J.

A good Samaritan removed four people from a 24-foot boat after it caught fire while at anchor in the ShrewsburyRiver in Highlands, N.J. A fifth person on board the boat extinguished the fire and waited for first responders. The other four people stayed on board the 45-foot good Samaritan boat. Coast Guard Sector New York received a report over marine band radio channel 16 that the boat, with five people on board, had an engine fire. A rescue crew from Coast Guard Station Sandy Hook arrived to find the fire extinguished and the boat filled with gray smoke. A Coast Guard rescue crewman boarded the damaged boat to ensure it was safe, and the fire was completely extinguished. The rescue crew towed the disabled boat to a marina just north of the HighlandsBridge on the ShrewsburyRiver. The good Samaritan transported the four recovered people to shore. The cause of the fire was unknown. (Oct. 14)