Coast Guard responses Mid Atlantic June 2006 - Soundings Online

Coast Guard responses Mid Atlantic June 2006

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Recent responses from North Carolina and around the nation

Recent responses from North Carolina and around the nation

Boat, ship collide

Air Station Elizabeth City, N.C.

Three fishermen were rescued by the Coast Guard after their fishing boat and a freighter collided 55 miles east of Cape Fear, N.C. Coast Guard search-and-rescue controllers received an electronic distress call from the 44-foot fishing boat. After issuing an urgent marine information broadcast in the area of the distress call, another fishing boat reported hearing over their radio that the stricken boat was taking on water after the collision with the 633-foot Turkish-flagged freighter. The Coast Guard launched a rescue helicopter from Air Station Elizabeth City, N.C., and a Navy helicopter was diverted to the scene. Soon after, the fishing boat’s captain reported that the flooding was under control and the crew would proceed to their dock in Southport, N.C. The helicopters were called off the search. The fishing boat remained in radio contact with the Coast Guard and the crewmembers reported they were taking on too much water and were sinking. The Coast Guard helicopter returned to the scene. A Marine Corps helicopter from Cherry Point, N.C., also headed to the boat’s position. The Coast Guard helicopter arrived and began hoisting the crew. The men were taken to New Hanover Hospital, in Wilmington, N.C., and were reported to be in good condition. The Coast Guard planned to investigate the cause of the collision. (March 7)

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Fishing trip proves fatal

Station Oak Island, N.C.

The bodies of four volunteer firefighters who were on a fishing trip were located off Lockwood Folley Inlet, N.C., after an overnight search involving Coast Guard, Marine Corps, and local assets. The men, ages 20 to 38, were recovered from the water deceased. Two other men were able to swim to shore and called 911. The two men reported that the 18-foot boat they were on capsized earlier that day off Holden Beach, N.C., with themselves and the four other men aboard. At some point during their ordeal, all six men decided to swim to shore. Three of four men were recovered wearing life jackets. After receiving the notification, Coast Guard Sector North Carolina immediately launched a 41-foot rescue boat from Station Oak Island, N.C., a C-130 airplane and HH-60 helicopter from Air Station Elizabeth City, N.C., to search for the missing men. A Marine Corps helicopter from Air Station Cherry Point also launched to assist in the search. Local agencies were also involved in conducting shoreline searches. The first of the four men was discovered early in the morning. The three other men were found within the next five minutes in the same vicinity. All the men were recovered by the 41-foot rescue boat and taken to a marina where they were met by the local coroner. There were small-craft advisories in effect in the area where the men were believed to have capsized with 5- to 10-knot winds, 1- to 2-foot seas and a water temperature of 58 degrees. (March 16)

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Sailor with vision problem

Station Oxford, Md.

The Coast Guard, Calvert County Fire and Rescue and the Maryland Natural Resources Police assisted a man whose vision became blurred while sailing near Cove Point in the Chesapeake Bay. The 59-year-old man called the Coast Guard to report he was having difficulty seeing on his 27-foot sloop. He was the only person on board. Rescue boats from Coast Guard Station Oxford, Md., Calvert County Fire and Rescue and the MNRP launched and arrived at the scene. The man was transferred to the Calvert County Fire and Rescue boat and was taken to Calvert County Memorial Hospital. The rescue crew from Station Oxford took the sloop in tow and was bringing it to a marina in the Patuxent River. The man had been sailing from the Bohemia River in upper Maryland to the Florida Keys. Other than the difficulty seeing, he was reported to be in good condition. (March 8)

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Couple capsizes

Air Station Elizabeth City, N.C.

Crews from the Coast Guard and Corolla Ocean Rescue saved a married couple when their Hobie Cat overturned six miles northeast of Currituck Light, N.C. Currituck County 911 called the Coast Guard to report that the two had overturned, and Sector North Carolina search-and-rescue controllers diverted a Coast Guard Auxiliary patrol airplane to the scene. A rescue boat from Station Oregon Inlet, N.C., a helicopter from Air Station Elizabeth City, N.C., and a personal watercraft from Corolla Ocean Rescue also responded. The Auxiliary airplane spotted the overturned Hobie Cat and vectored the rescue helicopter and the PWC to the scene. The woman was rescued by the COR PWC, and the man was hoisted by the Coast Guard helicopter. Both were wearing wet suits, and appeared to be in good condition. They were taken to Outer Banks Hospital. (March 12)

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Mayday call prompts search

Station Yankeetown, Fla.

The Coast Guard suspended the search for a possible boater in distress in the vicinity of the Swanee River pending further developments. Coast Guard Station Yankeetown received a report from two separate sources stating that a female voice was heard calling, “Mayday, mayday, Little Man taking on water two miles off Swanee” on VHF channel 16. The Coast Guard launched a rescue boat from Station Yankeetown along with a rescue helicopter and a C-130 from Air Station Clearwater. The rescue crews searched through the night with no sight of the sinking boat. (March 13)