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Mishaps & Rescues – Florida & the South

Recent responses from Florida to South Carolina

LUNDI GRAS PARADE — A Coast Guard HH-65C rescue helicopter and crew from Coast Guard Air Station New Orleans, along with a 25-foot smallboat and crew from the Marine Safety and Security Team, Kings Bay, Ga., conduct patrols on the Mississippi River in New Orleans while the paddle-wheel boat Creole Queen transits the river on a evening cruise during Lundi Gras festivities.

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Coast Guard searches for missing man

Jacksonville, Fla.

The Coast Guard was searching for a missing 69-year-old man near the St. Augustine inlet. The man departed from Vilano Beach on a 24-foot sailboat that was found entangled with another boat’s anchor line near the Comanche Cove Marina. The engine was still running and no one was found aboard the boat. The missing man was described as 5 feet, 8 inches tall, weighing 120 pounds. He has a full gray beard and dark hair. He was last seen wearing a white sweater-like jacket with rhinestones and a pair of gray sweatpants. The Coast Guard, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission and St. Johns County Sheriff’s Office were searching for the man by air and sea. Anyone with information can contact the Coast Guard at (904) 564-7511. (Feb. 6)

Coast Guard ends search

Station Georgetown, S.C.

The Coast Guard ended its search for a missing person in the Waccamaw River after divers from the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources recovered the missing boater’s remains. Four adults, one child and one infant were in a 15-foot boat when it capsized near the shore of the Waccamaw River in the vicinity of Sandy Island, just north of Georgetown. One of the adults swam to shore and dialed 911 for assistance from a cell phone. Emergency dispatch relayed the phone call to the Coast Guard and other agencies to assist in the search. A good Samaritan rescued the infant from the water, and one of the women aboard and her 5-year-old child also made it to shore safely. Two adults were recovered by search-and-rescue personnel during the search, but the remaining boater’s body was not found until later. The Coast Guard searched for 27 hours with helicopters from Air Station Savannah, Ga., and Air Facility Charleston, S.C., and boats from Station Georgetown. The South Carolina Department of Natural Resources, Georgetown County Sheriff’s Office and the Midway Fire Department all participated in the search. (Feb. 19)

This article originally appeared in the Florida & the South Home Waters Section of the May 2009 issue.