Coast Guard crew rescues 50-year-old diver

Coast Guard TRACEN Yorktown unveils new boatNEW SMYRNA BEACH, Fla. — Crewmembers from Coast Guard Station Ponce de Leon Inlet rescued a diver Wednesday approximately 25 miles east of Ponce de Leon Inlet.

The diver, a 50-year-old man from Florida, was reported to be in good condition and with no injuries.

Watchstanders in the Coast Guard Sector Jacksonville command center were notified of the situation by VHF Channel 16.

A crew aboard a 45-foot Response Boat-Medium was launched to search for the diver. The Station Ponce crew arrived on scene at approximately 6:47 p.m., and searched for nearly 10 minutes before locating the diver by his strobe light. The diver was located inside the projected drift model used by Sector Jacksonville to plan their search patterns.

Station Ponce crewmembers embarked the diver and delivered him back to the dive boat. The diver was examined by EMS upon his return to the boat ramp.

“The successful resolution to this case was due in large part to the diver’s use of a strobe light,” said Tony Wells, Coast Guard Sector Jacksonville search and rescue controller. “We highly encourage all divers to carry a signaling device and dive in pairs. It can greatly assist rescue teams in the event of an emergency as we saw in this case.”

Other agencies involved in this case included a crew aboard an MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter from Coast Guard Air Station Clearwater, Fla., and a good Samaritan aboard the yacht Tranquility.

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