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Coast Guard Responses – Florida and the South

Recent responses from Florida and around the nation

Recent responses from Florida and around the nation

Children rescued

Station Mayport, Fla.

The Coast Guard and good Samaritans rescued six boaters, including three children, after their 25-foot boat ran aground on the south jetties at the mouth of the St. Johns River. A 45-year-old man was injured after the pleasure boat he was piloting drifted into the jetties sending all six people on board the boat into the water. The operator suffered a laceration to his midsection after he was pinned between his boat and the jetties. The five passengers who fell into the water included three children ages seven, 10 and 12. A good Samaritan took the six people aboard his boat. A Coast Guard rescue boat crew from Station Mayport arrived to aid the boaters. Two Coast Guard rescue crewmen boarded the good Samaritan’s vessel and began to perform first aid on the injured operator. The five survivors who only suffered minor injuries were transferred to the Coast Guard rescue boat. The Coast Guard rescue crewmen kept the man aboard the good Samaritan’s boat and continued first aid. The Coast Guard rescue crewmen didn’t want to unnecessarily move him and complicate his injuries. The two Coast Guard rescue crewmen directed the good Samaritan to quickly pilot his boat to Station Mayport. The injured man was then transferred to Jacksonville Fire-Rescue in stable condition. He was being treated at Baptist Medical Center Beaches in Jacksonville Beach. Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission was investigating this incident. (Aug. 11)

Crack in the hull

Station Miami Beach, Fla.

The crew of Coast Guard Cutter Tampa rescued two people after their boat began sinking 15 miles west of Bimini, Bahamas. A 39-year-old man and a 31-year-old woman sent out a mayday call which was heard by the cutter and a Coast Guard HU-25 Falcon crew from Air Station Miami flying on a scheduled patrol in the area. The crew of Tampa arrived on scene and lowered one of their small boats and sent a rescue and assistance team to help the two boaters control the flooding. Once the rescue team arrived, the man notified the team of a 12-inch crack in the hull causing the flooding. The rescue team from Tampa took the two off the 28-foot boat and deployed a dewatering pump and minimized how much water the boat was taking on per minute. A 41-foot utility boat from Station Miami Beach later arrived on scene relieved the R&A team from Tampa and embarked the two uninjured people onto their boat and towed their boat to the 79th Street Causeway boat ramp. According to the boaters, they were on their way to the Bahamas when their boat began taking on water. (Aug. 17)

Capsize with four aboard

Station Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

The Coast Guard rescued four people eight miles east of Hallandale Beach, Fla., after receiving a distress call from one of the four people aboard the sinking boat. The boaters were able to make a mayday call using a VHF radio to the Coast Guard before their 25-foot boat capsized shortly thereafter, leaving the four people in the water. The Coast Guard immediately responded and began searching with a rescue boat from Station Fort Lauderdale and an HH-65C Dolphin helicopter from Air Station Miami. The crew of the helicopter located the survivors and directed the 33-foot rescue boat to their location. The survivors were found clinging to each other in the water wearing their life jackets. The uninjured people were taken to HallandaleBeach by the Station Fort Lauderdale rescue crew. (Aug. 18)

Two injured swimmers

Station Miami Beach, Fla.

A Coast Guard Station Miami Beach boat crew rescued two women with head injuries from the waters of Biscayne Bay near HobieBeach. Initial reports indicated that the two women were swimming with friends who were aboard personal watercraft. One of the personal watercraft operators reportedly tried to pick the women up from the water and that is when they were struck by the watercraft. The Coast Guard rescue crew was returning from a false alarm when it came upon the injured women. The crew transported the women to MercyHospital. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission was investigating the cause of this incident. (July 21)

Offshore sinking

Air Station Elizabeth City, N.C.

A Washington, D.C., man was rescued by the Coast Guard after his boat sank 82 miles east of Elizabeth City, N.C. The 53-year-old man was hoisted to safety from a life raft by an Air Station Elizabeth City helicopter rescue crew, after his 42-foot boat rapidly took on water and sank. The rescued man was transported to the Coast Guard Air Station where he was released to local EMS personnel for further treatment. The rescue began when Coast Guard watchstanders at the Rescue Coordination Center in Portsmouth, Va., received an EPIRB alert from the vessel. When the rescued man registered his boat’s EPIRB a few weeks ago he also electronically entered the float plan for his entire voyage. The Coast Guard reported that doing so “took the ‘search’ out of search and rescue.” (Aug. 3)

Aground in surf

Air Facility Charleston, S.C.

The Coast Guard rescued two boaters after their boat went aground in the vicinity of Morris Island, S.C. The boat operator and his passenger were on a 28-foot boat when it became grounded in the surf. The operator contacted and passed hisposition to Sea Tow using his cellular phone. Sea Tow then contacted search-and-rescue watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector Charleston and requested assistance. An HH-65 Dolphin helicopter from Coast Guard Air Facility Charleston launched to locate the stranded boaters. The air crew from the helicopter spotted and hoisted the men. They were brought to Coast Guard Air Facility Charleston and were reported to be in good condition. (Aug. 24)

Five rescued offshore

Air Station Elizabeth City, N.C.

The Coast Guard rescued five people after the 56-foot sportfishing boat began taking on water 70 miles east of Ocean City, Md. The Coast Guard received a call reporting the fishing boat, with five adults and four children aboard, was taking on water and in need of Coast Guard assistance. An HH-65C Dolphin helicopter rescue crew from Coast Guard Air Station Atlantic City and an HH-60 Jayhawk helicopter rescue crew from Coast Guard Air Station Elizabeth City, N.C., headed toward the sportfisher’s location. Both aircrews arrived on scene, and the Jayhawk helicopter crew hoisted four children and one adult into their helicopter. The rescued were transported to Cape May County Airport in New Jersey and picked up by family members. The boat’s flooding was under control and the four remaining passengers arrived at a marina in Cape May, N.J., aboard their boat. (Aug. 25)

Three fishermen rescued

Station Charleston, S.C.

A Coast Guard cutter rescued three men on a disabled 28-foot fishing boat, 41 miles southeast of Charleston. The three men were reported overdue by family members after they didn’t return as expected from their fishing trip, 25 miles east of Isle of Palms. A Coast Guard helicopter from Air Station Savannah, Ga., a small boat from Station Charleston, a fixed-wing aircraft from Air Station Clearwater, Fla., and the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources all searched for the three men. (July 30)

Dramatic air lift

Station Depoe Bay, Ore.

The Coast Guard medically evacuated a 67-year-old man off a sailboat near Yaquina Head, Ore. Coast Guard Group North Bend received a call that a man aboard the 34-foot sailboat was in medical distress and needed to be airlifted to a nearby hospital. A Coast Guard 47-foot motor lifeboat crew from Depoe Bay, Ore., and an HH-65C Dolphin helicopter crew from Coast Guard Air Facility Newport, Ore., launched to the scene. Once on scene the helicopter crew found that it would be too risky to lower a rescue swimmer onto the sailboat due to the pitching mast under full sail. The 47-foot motor lifeboat pulled alongside the sailboat and two crewmen aboard were able to jump onto the sailboat to lower the sails. Another man was on board the sailboat and was able to maintain course from the tiller while the Coast Guard members lowered the sails. The helicopter was able to airlift the sick man and transported him to Air Facility Newport where local emergency medical personnel took him to a nearby hospital. Station Depoe Bay left the two crewmen on board the sailboat to assist the captain who had been sailing for 19 hours. The motor lifeboat was able to escort the sailboat back to Yaquina Bay. Winds on scene were 30 knots and seas were 6 to 8 feet. (July 30)