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Mishaps & Rescues New England - November

Recent Coast Guard responses from the Northeast

Rogue wave rescue

Station Southwest Harbor, Maine

The Coast Guard saved two lives and searched for a third victim in a sea rescue after victims were swept into the water by a rogue wave off Acadia National Park in Maine.

A rogue wave struck the rocky area Thunder Hole in Acadia National Park, washing as many as seven people into the water. In total, 11 people suffered broken bones, among other injuries, when they were tossed by the ocean wave. Four were able to get to safety unassisted while three were pulled farther from shore by the seas. A Coast Guard motor lifeboat was able to rescue two of these victims, but a third victim remained missing, requiring a multiagency search.

Coast Guard crews from Station Southwest Harbor and Air Station Cape Cod (Mass.) coordinated with other federal and state authorities to rescue and account for all people washed from the rocks, according to the Coast Guard. (Aug. 23)

Two stranded with dog

Station Point Allerton, Mass.

A rescue helicopter from Coast Guard Air Station Cape Cod rescued two people and their dog stranded in shallow water near Hull, Mass.

Coast Guard Station Point Allerton received a call that a white pleasure craft was aground after becoming disabled and being pushed by the waves into the rocks. Station Point Allerton launched a 25-foot response boat to the scene. The boat crew was unable to get close enough because of the rocks.

First Coast Guard District Command Center diverted an HH-60J Jayhawk helicopter to the scene and airlifted the two people and their dog to a nearby baseball field in Hull, Mass. The people were then transferred to the Hull Fire Department. There were no injuries to the people or their dog. (Aug. 22)

Man missing near Far Rockaway Inlet

Sector New York

The Coast Guard suspended the search for a 40-year-old man who went missing off Beach 15th Street in Far Rockaway, Queens.

The Coast Guard received a report of a person in the water inside Rockaway Inlet. The report stated a small group of people were swimming off the beach when one person did not return to shore.

Coast Guard Sector New York and Sector Long Island Sound both responded with rescue boat crews from Station Sandy Hook and Station New York as well as a rescue helicopter from Air Station Atlantic City (N.J.). In total, five Coast Guard rescue boat crews and two rescue helicopter crews completed more than 10 different searches. Responding agencies searched 68 square miles for the missing person in the areas of Rockaway Inlet and Atlantic Beach, according to the Coast Guard.

Rescue crews from the New York Police Department marine, aviation and dive units, Nassau County marine and aviation units and a Coast Guard Auxiliary airplane also responded in the search for the missing swimmer, according to the Coast Guard. (Aug. 13)

Medevac 135 miles out

Air Station Cape Cod, Mass.

The Coast Guard airlifted a 51-year-old man experiencing chest pain from a fishing boat 135 miles east of Provincetown, Mass.

The crewman fell overboard from the 83-foot scallop vessel as he was pulling up a dredge, and was immediately brought back on board, but began experiencing chest pains and tingling on the left side of his body. He was transferred to Coast Guard cutter Escanaba, in the area for routine patrol.

A Jayhawk helicopter from Air Station Cape Cod airlifted the man from the deck and transferred him to Cape Cod Hospital, according to the Coast Guard. (Aug. 18)

Search for missing man is suspended

Station New Haven, Conn.

The Coast Guard and multiple agencies has suspended its search for a man who went missing near Charles Island in Milford, Conn. The man was kayaking with a friend when their two-seat kayak capsized. The friend managed to swim to a nearby anchored sailboat and contacted authorities.

Rescue agencies that participated in the search included boat crews from Coast Guard Station New Haven; Coast Guard auxiliary boats and aviation teams; the crew of the Coast Guard cutter Tiger Shark, personnel from the Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection and the Connecticut State Police; first responders from the Milford, West Haven and Stratford Police and Fire Departments; rescue helicopter crews from Coast Guard Air Station Cape Cod (Mass.) and Coast Guard Air Station Atlantic City (N.J.), according to the Coast Guard. (Sept. 7)

Floating without PFDs

Sector Boston

Two boaters were rescued after spending more than two hours in the water without life jackets after their boat capsized about 10 miles northwest of Racepoint, off the tip of Cape Cod.

The boat operator and his girlfriend were trying to bring a tuna aboard the 22-foot SeaCraft when the boat capsized. Two hours later, the operator of a passing boat spotted the couple, pulled them out of the water and called Coast Guard Sector Boston. The sector dispatched a 25-foot boat from Coast Guard Station Point Allerton, met the good Samaritan crew and brought the couple aboard. (Aug. 17)

Aircraft collision search suspened

Sector New York

The Coast Guard suspended its search for passengers after two aircraft collided over the Hudson River.

The Coast Guard cutter Penobscot Bay will remain on scene enforcing a two-mile safety zone from the Holland Tunnel to the Lincoln Tunnel.

The two aircraft consisted of a small airplane that had taken off from Teterboro Airport in N.Y., and a Liberty Tours helicopter. Three people were reportedly on board the small airplane, and the helicopter was reportedly carrying six to seven people. One body was recovered, according to the Coast Guard.

Five rescue boat crews from Coast Guard Station New York, a Coast Guard rescue helicopter crew from Coast Guard Air Station Atlantic City, N.J., and several Coast Guard Auxiliary vessels worked in collaboration with the New York City Police and Fire Departments in the recovery effort. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers used side-scanning sonar in an attempt to locate the wreckage, according to the Coast Guard.

The incident is under investigation by the National Transportation Safety Board. (Aug. 8)

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