Tuesday, February 20, 2007

These were the types of cases I loved

Coast Guard C-130
Originally uploaded by jerkylicker.
Back when I was a search & rescue coordinator at the Coast Guard's Maritime Rescue Coordination Center Norfolk (actually located in the federal building in Portsmouth and actually then mostly the LANT/D5 Command Center), these were the types of cases I loved prosecuting.

From today's Virginian Pilot:
Two men were rescued by a Coast Guard helicopter from Elizabeth City, N.C., and a search continues today for a third after their 38-foot catamaran capsized in rough seas 200 miles east of Bermuda.

The three were sailing from Sables D’Olonne, France, to Annapolis, Md., when their sailboat overturned about 5:30 p.m. Monday, triggering their automatic distress system, the Coast Guard said in a release.

Search and rescue coordinators in Portsmouth received the signal and an Elizabeth City, N.C., based C-130 airplane was launched to the area. It was over the capsized vessel by about 7:30 p.m. and the crew saw two people clinging to the hull, with no sign of the third person. They dropped a life raft to the men below, the release said.

At about 6:30 p.m., a second C-130 and a helicopter were launched from the Elizabeth City air station. The helicopter stopped in Bermuda to refuel before arriving on scene at 2:50 a.m. today. The helicopter crew had hoisted two men by 3 a.m.

Two volunteer merchant vessels remain in the area searching for the man. Winds in the search area are blowing about 40 knots and the seas are 15-20 feet high, the release said.
Certainly from the aviation side, a great case. From the coordination and planning side, a great case, too. Long-legged search; a long-range Jayhawk rescue with a Herc flying cover. Reads like a text-book case.

Too bad about the third, missing, man. I don't know anything about this case other than what's above, but I'd guess he'll likely not be found alive.

The sea claims another.

Kudos to the entire CG team for this excellent search & rescue case.

For those of you who are interested in Coast Guard aviation, particularly the rescue swimmers (who were, I am certain, deployed for this case... straight into the 20 foot seas and 40 knot winds... and, yes, that's quite a blow), and haven't seen the Kevin Costner movie The Guardian, I highly recommend picking up the DVD and watching it.

I am a SAR dog at heart...

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