Coast Guard responses - Mid-Atlantic

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Cold, stranded fishermen

Air Station Atlantic City, N.J.

A Coast Guard helicopter crew from Air Station Atlantic City rescued two people stranded late at night when their boat ran aground on ChampaignIsland near Hereford Inlet. The 26-foot fishing boat was in shallow water which prevented any waterside assistance. The boat was taking 8-foot waves over the back. When an HH-65C Dolphin helicopter arrived on scene, the rescue swimmer was lowered to the boat, and assisted the two cold and wet fishermen into the rescue basket. The crew of the helicopter then took the two fishermen back to Air Station Atlantic City where awaiting EMS treated them for mild hypothermia.Both fishermen were released in good condition. Weather at the time included winds of 35 mph and gusts up to 40 mph. The water temperature which was in the 40s. (Feb. 17)

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Trailer boater overdue

Station Wachapreague, Va.

Coast Guard Station Wachapreague, Air Station Elizabeth City, N.C., and Virginia Marine Resources Commission crews located and assisted a boater in the vicinity of Great Machipongo Channel, Va. The man’s wife notified the Coast Guard of the overdue boat. Her 65-year-old husband had left out of WillisWharf to fish for flounder and clams on his 18-foot center console boat. A rescue crew located his truck and boat trailer at the ramp. Station Wachapreague launched a 25-foot rescue boat, Coast Guard Air Station Elizabeth City launched an HH-60J rescue helicopter, and VMRC assisted with three boats and one aircraft. The search for the man lasted through the night. Early the next morning, the Coast Guard helicopter located the man off Great Machipongo Channel. He was then escorted back to WillisWharf by the crew from Station Wachapreague. (Feb. 17)

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Fatal sailboat knockdown

AirStationPort Angeles, Wash.

A man died after he was ejected from a sailboat near Vashon Island when a wind gust pushed the boat on its side. Minutes later, the Coast Guard was notified by the KingCountyEmergencyDispatchCenter that three men and a woman were in the water after being thrown from their sailboat. Two of the men and the woman were able to climb back on board the boat. Coast Guard Station Seattle immediately diverted a 25-foot response boat to search for the missing man. An HH-65 Dolphin helicopter from Coast Guard Air Station Port Angeles was also launched to assist with the search and rescue operation. Additionally, the Tacoma Fire Department’s rescue vessel provided assistance. About an hour after the incident, a Vashon Fire Department boat transported one of the men in the sailboat to an awaiting ambulance on shore. The man survived. The third man was located in the water by the Coast Guard helicopter, and a Des Moines Fire Department rescue boat was directed to the same location. The man was recovered from the water and then transferred to the Coast Guard helicopter waiting on the beach, which transported him to the HarborviewHospital in Seattle. The third man, who was not wearing a life jacket, was pronounced dead. (Jan. 28)

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Rescued from life raft

Air Station Sitka, Alaska

A Coast Guard Air Station Sitka Jayhawk helicopter crew rescued one person from a life raft after his boat sank five miles northwest of CapeDecision. The Coast Guard received a distress call over VHF channel 16. The man stated that his 50-foot trawler was taking on water, and that he was the only person aboard. An Air Station Sitka Jayhawk helicopter crew dispatched to the scene. Once on scene, the helicopter crew rescued the uninjured man from a life raft and transported him to Sitka. The man was wearing a cold-weather survival suit at the time of his rescue. The cause of the sinking was unknown at the time. Marine Safety Office Sitka was notified of the incident. (Jan. 31)