Recent responses from Florida and the South
Recent responses from Florida and the South
Boat sinks, men in the water
The crew of Coast Guard Cutter Key Biscayne rescued four fishermen from a 42-foot fishing boat that had struck an unknown object and sank approximately 53 miles northwest of Key West, Fla. Search and rescue coordinators at Coast Guard Sector Key West Command Center received a call over VHF channel 16 from a Good Samaritan, relaying a distress call from the captain of the fishing boat. The Good Samaritan stated the captain said his boat had struck an object and was taking on water. The Coast Guard immediately diverted an HU-25 Falcon jet and launched an HH-65 Dolphin helicopter, both from Air Station Miami. The 110-foot Coast Guard Cutter Key Biscayne was diverted from its patrol also to assist. The Falcon crew located the fishing boat and dropped two dewatering pumps to the fishermen. The crew had problems with both pumps. The helicopter crew arrived shortly thereafter to provide aerial support. When Key Biscayne arrived on scene, it provided two more pumps and assisted in the rescue. Crew members from Key Biscayne went aboard the fishing boat and made numerous attempts throughout the evening to stop the flow of water, including using a tarp to try and mend the six-foot by three-foot gash in the hull.The decision was made to take the fishermen off the boat, as efforts to save the ship were unsuccessful. The captain of the boat stated he closed all the valves on the vessel before disembarking to help prevent any pollution from entering the water. The cutter was en route to Sector Key West with the fishermen. (Oct. 27)
3-day search suspended
Station Fort Myers Beach, Fla.
The Coast Guard suspended its three-day search for a person in the water about 10 nautical miles west of Gordon’s Pass, near Naples, Fla. Missing was a 21-year-old man. Another 21-year-old man on the boat was pulled from the water by a Good Samaritan near Gordon’s Pass. The rescued man reported that he was in a 34-foot, white and yellow vessel with two other people aboard when it capsized near Gordon’s Pass. The third man, age 35, was rescued near Gordon’s Pass by a rescue crew from StationFort MyersBeach in Fort Myers, Fla. The two survivors were brought to NaplesCommunityHospital where they were in stable condition. CoastGuardStationFort MyersBeach, Coast Guard Air Station Clearwater, the Coast Guard Cutter Marlin, Capri Fire and Rescue, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) and the Lee County Sheriff’s Office assisted in the search for the missing man. The rescue crews searched 2,684 square miles, an area about the size of DadeCounty, with no sign of the man. FWC was investigating the incident. (Oct. 29)
Three in a life raft
Station Lake Worth Inlet, Fla.
Coast Guard crew members from Station Lake Worth Inlet, Fla., were scheduled to transfer three men rescued by a Good Samaritan boat after the fisherman’s boat sank 75 miles east of Cape Canaveral. Coast Guard District Seven Search and Rescue coordinators in Miami received an emergency message from a Emergency Positioning Indicating Radio Beacon (EPIRB) registered to the 51-foot fishing boat and immediately launched an HU-25 Falcon jet from Air Station Miami to begin searching off the Cape Canaveral coast. The Good Samaritan, a 598-foot container ship en route from Savannah, Ga., to New Orleans, contacted Sector Miami stating they heard the crew of the fishing boat on Channel and that their boat was sinking. The Falcon jet crew located a debris field and life raft about 75 miles east of Cape Canaveral. The crew of the container ship rescued all three people from the life raft shortly after. The container ship was scheduled to rendezvous with crew members of Station Lake Worth Inlet and transport the three men to Station Lake Worth Inlet. (Nov. 8)
Overdue from fishing trip
Station Ft. Myers Beach, Fla.
The Coast Guard rescued four overdue boaters aboard a 24-foot pleasure boat 17 nautical miles north of Marco Island, Fla. The Coast Guard received a call that four boaters left a MarcoIsland boat ramp to go fishing at about 6 a.m. and were to return at noon. A Coast Guard HH-60 Jayhawk rescue helicopter crew from Air Station Clearwater, Fla., immediately launched to search for the missing boaters. The HH-60 located the boaters safely aboard their disabled boat at about 6 a.m. the next day. A Coast Guard Station Ft. Myers Beach 33-foot patrol boat crew arrived on scene and safely transferred the boaters to a Collier County Sheriff’s Department substation, in Collier County, Fla. The four boaters were in good condition. (Nov. 19)
Search for overdue anglers
Keaton Beach, Fla.
The Coast Guard ended its search for three overdue boaters aboard a 20-foot pleasure boat who had been missing after a Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) aircraft located the boaters about 30 nautical miles southwest of KeatonBeach. A 69-year-old woman and her 43-year-old son and his 41-year-old girlfriend were aboard their boat waving their arms when they were located by an FWC aircraft. The family was safely transferred to an FWC 45-foot patrol boat and were en route to KeatonBeach where the family was to be taken to a hospital in Perry, Fla. Their condition was unknown. The Coast Guard received a call from Keaton Beach Marina, reporting that three boaters had left late in the afternoon from their vacation home dock in KeatonBeach to go trout fishing and were expected to return that evening. (Oct. 31)
Air Station Clearwater, Fla.
A Coast Guard HH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew from Air Station Clearwater, Fla., deployed in support of Operation Bahamas Turks and Caicos (OPBAT), was transporting a 64-year-old man from Farmers Cay, Bahamas, to JacksonMemorialHospital after he suffered serious injuries to his hand. The man’s hand got caught in the anchor chain of his 54-foot sailboat, near Exuma Island, Bahamas. Search and rescue coordinators at the DistrictSevenCommandCenter in Miami were contacted by a third party, stating the man suffered serious injuries in a boating accident. The Coast Guard helicopter with the injured man was scheduled to arrive at JacksonMemorialHospital. (Nov. 7)
Taking on water
Air Facility Charleston, S.C.
A Coast Guard search and rescue crew from Air Facility Charleston assisted a boat taking on water 30 miles northeast of Charleston. Two men were aboard the 50-foot sportfisherman when they contacted the Coast Guard after losing one of their two engines because of flooding. A helicopter from Air Facility Charleston immediately launched to assist the boaters. The helicopter arrived at the boat’s location and lowered a de-watering pump and rescue swimmer to control the flooding. The two men were able to control the flooding with the de-watering pump, and they were escorted back to CharlestonHarbor by a Station Charleston small boat. (Oct. 24)
Disoriented and aground
Sector Charleston, S.C.
The Coast Guard rescued two stranded boaters two miles out on the southern jetties of CharlestonHarbor. A 62-year-old man and 52-year-old woman were on the 40-foot cabin cruiser when they became disoriented and grounded their boat on the southern jetty. The man contacted Coast Guard Sector Charleston on VHF channel 16 to request assistance. A helicopter from Coast Guard Air Facility Charleston diverted to the scene to hoist the two boaters off the grounded boat. The two boaters were taken back to Air Facility Charleston in good condition. Commercial salvage has removed the boat from the rocks. No pollution from the grounding has been spotted in the area. (Nov. 8)
Station Grande Isle, La.
The Coast Guard, along with the Terrabonne Parish Sheriff’s Department, were searching for a 20-year-old man who went missing while he was kayaking in LakeMontegut. A watchstander at Coast Guard Sector New Orleans received a call from the Terrabone Parish Sheriff’s Department who had received a call from the man’s uncle reporting him missing. Rescue boat crews from Coast Guard Station Grande Isle and an HH-65C Rescue Helicopter crew from Coast Guard Air Station New Orleans immediately began searches that night. The Coast Guard and Terrabonne Parish Sheriff’s Department continued the search throughout the next day. (Nov. 24)