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Mishaps & rescues – New England

Caught under Manhattan pier

Manhattan, N.Y.

A multiagency search was under way after a man was reportedly seen caught under a pier on East 90th Street in Manhattan. The Coast Guard was contacted by the New York Fire Department after it was alerted to a man caught under a pier in the East River by an unidentified caller using an emergency call box. The Coast Guard quickly responded by sending two 25-foot rescue boat crews to search the area. The New York Police Department had two rescue boats and a helicopter on scene, and the FDNY had rescue boats and a diver in the water. The case was still under investigation. (March 31)

Coast Guard rescues  man trapped in cave

Station Noyo River, Calif.

Multiple crews from Coast Guard Station Noyo River assisted the Albion Fire Department in the rescue of a 52-year-old man who became trapped in a cave while diving for abalone near Albion, Calif. The Coast Guard received the initial report from the Howard Forest dispatch crew that a man had become trapped in a cave and was in need of assistance near the Heritage House in Albion. Albion Fire Department personnel reported hearing cries for help and immediately began to contact all local agencies for assistance. Coast Guard Station Noyo River immediately launched two 47-foot motor lifeboats, and also dispatched the unit’s Mobile One Beach Rescue team to the scene. However, 6- to 8-foot breaking swells, combined with the extremely rocky shoreline, prevented the motor lifeboat crewmembers from gaining access to the victim. The Mobile One Beach Rescue arrived on scene and began to scale the extremely steep access path down to the face located above the cave. The rescue team determined that the best means of rescue was to tether one of the crew to a rescue harness while he swam to the trapped and exhausted victim. The crewmember located the victim who was suffering from severe hypothermia and multiple lacerations. Using a coordinated effort to time the incoming swells, the crew was able to extract the injured man from the cave. Once free, the crewmember in the harness and the survivor were hauled up the steep rock face where the victim was treated by waiting emergency medical services, transferred to a local hospital, and later released in stable condition. (April 3)

Medevac for CO poisoning

Station Channel Islands and

Air Station Los Angeles

Rescuers from Coast Guard Station Channel Islands and Coast Guard Air Station Los Angeles performed a joint rescue of a 45-year-old man reported to be suffering from carbon monoxide poisoning. Coast Guard Sector Los Angeles-Long Beach received a call that the sole operator of a 37-foot sailboat was suffering from possible carbon monoxide poisoning about nine miles south of Channel Islands Harbor. A 47-foot motor lifeboat from Station Channel Islands with three paramedics from the Ventura County Fire Department on board and a HH65-C rescue helicopter from Air Station Los Angeles were immediately dispatched to the scene. The man was transferred from the sailboat to the Coast Guard rescue boat where paramedics determined a medical evacuation of the man was required. The man was then hoisted to the helicopter. The Coast Guard air crew transferred the man to Saint John’s Hospital in Oxnard. (March 27)

Missing for five days

Air Station Clearwater, Fla.

The Coast Guard located two boaters about seven miles north of Orange Cay, Bahamas, who had been missing for five days. The crew of a C-130 Hercules fixed-wing aircraft from Coast Guard Air Station Clearwater spotted the two men on their disabled white 33-foot center console. Search-and-rescue coordinators at the 7th Coast Guard District in Miami immediately launched the crew of cutter Diamondback to render assistance to the men. The C-130 crew dropped a VHF radio to establish communications and the men said they were OK, but were thirsty and hungry. The aircrew then dropped food and water to the men. A family member called the Coast Guard two days earlier to report the men left on a Saturday and were scheduled to return Sunday, but did not. Also assisting with the search were two HU-25 Falcon jet crews from Coast Guard Air Station Miami and three Coast Guard cutters. (April 19)

This article originally appeared in the New England Home Waters Section of the July 2009 issue.