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Coast Guard responses Mid Atlantic November 2006

Recent responses from North Carolina and other states

Recent responses from North Carolina and other states

Clinging to day marker

Station Fort Macon, N.C.

Coast Guard crews rescued three men after their jonboat capsized in Bogue Sound, N.C. The three men had been flounder gigging when their small jonboat capsized in worsening weather. A passing boat heard the men screaming for help along Shackleford Banks and radioed the Coast Guard. A 25-foot rescue boat from Station Fort Macon was launched and found two of the men on top of a day marker. They informed the crew that the third man had been unable to lift himself onto the navigation aid, and had tried to swim back to their capsized boat. A 41-foot rescue boat was launched from the station upon receiving this news, and searched near the mouth of Beaufort Inlet and along Shackleford Banks using searchlights. A crewmember from the boat saw a hand reach up from the crest of one of the waves, which had reached 5 to 6 feet in the inlet. In two minutes they had the third man on board the boat. He was a mile and a half from his friends and only an eighth of a mile from the open ocean. All three men were brought to Station Fort Macon and examined by emergency medical technicians. Aside from being cold and shaken, all three men were in good health. Coast Guard members gave them a ride back to their truck. The third man was wearing a life jacket and was able to move only with difficulty by the time he was found in the rough waves of the inlet. (July 29)

Rescue 21 locates boat

Station Fortescue, N.J.

A Coast Guard boat crew rescued a boater suffering from exhaustion aboard a pleasure boat in the Delaware Bay. The crew aboard the boat contacted the Coast Guard, stating that one of the passengers was suffering from exhaustion and that the boat was disabled in the vicinity of Port Mahon, Del. A rescue crew aboard a 25-foot response boat launched from Coast Guard Station Fortescue, N.J., to respond. Once on scene the boat crew removed the stricken man and a second boater. Coast Guard search and rescue coordinators also diverted a Coast Guard Air Station Atlantic City helicopter crew, already in flight, to assist if necessary. The Coast Guard rescue boat crew also took aboard a local emergency medical technician when they rendezvoused with a rescue boat from Fortescue Fire and Rescue. The rescue boat crew arrived at Sportsman Cove in Fortescue and transferred the exhausted man to awaiting EMS from Downe County, N.J. Coast Guard search and rescue coordinators used an upgraded communications program, known as Rescue 21, to locate the pleasure boat. This program has been established to minimize offshore radio coverage gaps, enhance clarity of distress calls and incorporate direction-finding equipment, improving the capability for rescuers to locate mariners in distress. Using Rescue 21 equipment, radio transmissions with the crew of the pleasure boat allowed search and rescue coordinators to more closely pinpoint the vessel’s location. On-scene crews located the boat within a half-mile of the estimated location, decreasing search time. The commercial tow of the disabled boat, currently anchored at the site, is being coordinated. The Coast Guard advises that boaters be wary of the weather during this time of record or near-record heat and take the appropriate safety precautions. It was also reported that the exhausted man, who was also the owner and operator of the pleasure boat, did not possess prescribed medication he takes for various ailments. (Aug. 1)

Motoryacht ablaze

Station Sandy Hook, N.J.

Good Samaritans rescued seven people from a 45-foot motoryacht in Raritan Bay when an electrical fire broke out aboard. The crew of a nearby charter fishing boat came alongside the burning yacht and brought the seven passengers aboard. The fire went out on its own within minutes. A rescue crew from Coast Guard Station Sandy Hook was immediately dispatched after receiving an emergency broadcast by marine band radio. The rescue crew boarded the motor yacht and set its anchor before transporting one of the passengers who sustained a minor injury to Atlantic Highlands where emergency medical personnel where waiting. All of the passengers were wearing life jackets. The cause of the fire was under investigation. (Aug. 4)