Heroes of the storm

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An HH-60 Jayhawk Helicopter from Coast Guard Air Station Clearwater (Fla.) rescued four people at 8 p.m. Sunday from a 60-foot fishing vessel displaying a Bahamian flag about 40 nautical miles north of Great Inagua,Bahamas near Hurricane Ike, according to a recent press release.

The Coast Guard Command Center in Miami received notification from the owner of Midnight Sun that the vessel was taking on water with four people aboard. The Coast Guard deployed a Falcon jet from Miami to Puerto Rico to respond to the boaters. It arrived on scene to confirm that Midnight Sun had complete engine failure in the 30- to 35-foot seas. The crew agreed to assistance and to abandon the vessel.

The Jayhawk arrived on scene a short while later, and deployed a rescue swimmer who had to return to the helicopter and be redeployed after losing his fins and part of his suit on the first attempt to fight the fierce conditions. This was the swimmer’s first operational hoist, fighting winds at 70 knots that made the rain hit the Jayhawk sideways, according to the report.

All four crewmembers of Midnight Sun were hoisted up safely and transferred to ProvidencialesAirport off the coast of Cuba. No injuries were reported, and no report has been given on the status of the abandoned vessel.

— Elizabeth Ellis