U.S. Coast Guard, Interagency Partners, Rescue Overdue Boaters on High Seas
By Space Coast Daily // December 13, 2019
A Coast Guard Air Station Miami HC-144 Ocean Sentry airplane crew located the distressed boaters
MIAMI, FLORIDA – The U.S. Coast Guard, Royal Bahamas Defence Force, and Royal Bahamas Police Force rescued two overdue Bahamian boaters Tuesday approximately 60 miles west of the Bahamas.
A Coast Guard Air Station Miami HC-144 Ocean Sentry airplane crew located the two boaters and observed the vessel was taking on water.
The HC-144 crew dropped a dewatering pump, radio and two life jackets, and contacted the Bahamian fishing vessel, “Wes Win,” to assist. The Wes Win crew embarked the two boaters and took the vessel in tow.
The men were then transferred to a RBDF boat and crew and were taken to shore.
Coast Guard 7th District watchstanders received an agency assist request from the RBDF to support efforts to locate two boaters aboard a 20-foot center console who reportedly went out for a fishing trip and were supposed to return to home Sunday evening.
The watchstanders directed the launch of an Air Station Miami HC-144 aircrew. An RBPF vessel and a private aircraft searched Monday but were unable to locate the boaters.
“This rescue is a great example of the Coast Guard, interagency partners and the boating community working together to save lives,” said Lt. Cmdr. Justin Matejka, Coast Guard liaison officer for the Bahamas and Turks and Caicos Islands.
“While the boaters that were rescued did a great job making it known where they’d be and when they’d be back, information that triggered the search in a timely fashion, lack of proper safety and communications equipment added unnecessary danger to their situation. Always to remember to properly prepare for any and all possibles hazards you could face before taking to the sea.”