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Mishaps and Rescues Mid-Atlantic March 2011

Winter Work

A crewmember aboard the Coast Guard cutter William Tate, whose home port is Philadelphia, services the light on top of a buoy during seasonal buoy replacement operations Dec. 16, 2010, along the Elk River in Maryland.

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Marina fire destroys 26 boats

Washington, N.C.

Coast Guard personnel remained at McCotters Marina for a few days to supervise efforts to clean up petroleum products that leaked into Broad Creek after a fire at the marina on Jan. 7. By the time the fire was extinguished, 26 vessels had burned to the waterline, releasing diesel fuel, gasoline and lubrication fluids into the water.

A containment boom isolated the pollution. Contractors placed absorbent pads within the boom to capture concentrations of the products. Workers also collected oily debris that was floating in the water.

The area enclosed by the boom was subsequently reduced to just the affected docks to concentrate cleanup operations and minimize inconvenience to neighboring facilities. (Jan. 10)

Patrol boats locate missing skydiver

Oak Island, N.C.

The Coast Guard assisted local agencies during a search for a skydiver who missed her mark and landed in the water near Oak Island.

About 10 a.m., watchstanders at Coast Guard Station Oak Island received a call from the Oak Island Police Department asking for assistance in their search for the skydiver, who was believed to have landed in the water about a mile off the Oak Island Bridge.

A 25-foot rescue boat left the Coast Guard station about 10:10 a.m., and the crew arrived at the scene by 10:17 a.m.

The female skydiver was found, but marshland prevented the Oak Island Rescue team aboard its pontoon boat and the crew of the Coast Guard rescue boat from getting to her.

The Oak Island Rescue team brought a Coast Guard rescue swimmer close to the scene. He swam to the skydiver to help her back to the pontoon boat.

Oak Island Rescue transferred her to awaiting Brunswick County emergency medical services personnel for transportation to Dosher Memorial Hospital in Southport, N.C. (Jan. 8)

Crewmember lifted from offshore ship

Elizabeth City, N.C.

The Coast Guard medically evacuated an injured crewmember from the Greek-flagged merchant vessel Aegean Angel about 180 miles northeast of Bermuda.

The captain and the chief engineer of the vessel were killed and the chief officer was injured while they were determining the integrity of the vessel during high seas on Dec. 30.

A Coast Guard HC-130J Hercules and an MH-60T Jayhawk helicopter crew from Air Station Elizabeth City flew to Bermuda to assist in the recovery of the injured man and to transfer two replacement officers to the vessel. Both of the aircraft landed in Bermuda to refuel because of the distance involved.

Hazardous weather - 50 mph winds and 15- to 18-foot seas - kept the aircraft grounded until 7:40 a.m. on Jan. 2.

About 9:40 a.m., the helicopter crew transferred the new crewmembers to the Aegean Angel and safely hoisted the chief officer from the vessel. They transferred him to emergency medical services personnel for transportation to King Edward VII Memorial Hospital in Bermuda for treatment. (Jan. 2)

This article originally appeared in the Mid-Atlantic Home Waters Section of the March 2011 issue.