Coast Guard assists 2 on grounded boat in Gardner Island

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NEW ORLEANS — The Coast Guard assisted two men aboard a grounded 21-foot personal craft in the vicinity of Gardner Island near the Mississippi Gulf Outlet, Sunday.

Watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector New Orleans received a report from the good Samaritan vessel Capt. Blake Kerry at approximately 9 a.m. that a flare alerted the location of two men aboard a grounded boat in a marshy area. The two men initially declined assistance until one of the boaters, a 70-year-old man, began to experience health concerns.

Sector New Orleans directed the lauch of a Coast Guard Air Station New Orleans MH-65 Dolphin hleicopter crew and a Coast Guard Station Venice 24-foot Special Purpose Craft — Shallow Water boatcrew to the scene. Air Station New Orleans arrived on scene at approximately 10:45 a.m. and delivered a radio for the men to maintain communication. The Station Venice boatcrew remained on scene until the aircrew returned from base. Upon return at approximately 12:30 p.m. the aircrew deployed a rescue swimmer down to the grounded boat. The rescue swimmer assessed the situation and rigged a towing line from the grounded boat to the Blake Kerry.

The Blake Kerry towed the boat and the two men to the nearest port. Both men reported no injuries or medical concerns.

“This was the first case we had a rescue swimmer who was able to help a boater in a shallow, marshy area; he earned his keep, he was pretty muddy,” said Lt. Bryan Conrad, Air Station New Orleans pilot. “It was very helpful to have a good Samaritan who was able to help in such a shallow area.”

The men’s condition are unknown.

The Coast Guard recommends all boaters have a working VHF-FM marine-band radio on board their vessel. With marine-band radios on board and set to channel 16, a boater is only a call away from help. The Coast Guard, other rescue agencies and other boaters monitor marine band radios 24/7, which increases the number of people who can respond.  The radios are better than cellular phones because their signals can be of assistance locating a person in distress. Though cell phones are better than no communication device at all, they tend to have gaps in coverage while on the water, and they have limited battery life.

In addition, the Coast Guard advises boaters to always wear their life jackets.

GARDNER ISLAND, La. - A Coast Guard Air Station New Orleans rescue swimmer prepares to rig a tow line for two boaters grounded on Gardner Island near the Mississippi Gulf Outlet, May 19, 2013. The good Samaritan vessel Blake Kerry towed the two back to shore. (U.S. Coast Guard Air Station New Orleans photo)

GARDNER ISLAND, La. – A Coast Guard Air Station New Orleans rescue swimmer prepares to rig a tow line for two boaters grounded on Gardner Island near the Mississippi Gulf Outlet, May 19, 2013. (U.S. Coast Guard Air Station New Orleans photo)

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One Comment

  1. Cpt. Stephen Barbini says:

    I am the captain that responded to the call and my vessel is the Cpt. ‘BLAKE TERRY’ not KERRY, named after a friend we lost in a diving accident 2 years ago….Just wanted to correct the type-o Thanks,

    Cpt. Stephen C Barbini
    (USCG-OUPV-6)