Coast Guard locates, medevacs overdue boater from Hogtown Bayou

America's Heartland Coast Guard News
DESTIN, Fla. — The Coast Guard medevaced a 49-year-old man reported overdue aboard a personal craft on Hogtown Bayou, Friday.

Medevaced was Bill Mcquillian.

Watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector Mobile, Ala., received a report from Mcquillian’s wife that her husband left at 3:30 p.m. Thursday to refuel his 22-foot white sundeck boat and left Buck Bayou off of Hogtown Bayou and was heading to Destin Harbor. She reported he had not taken the vessel out in a long time and had not been out at all in the last six months.

Sector Mobile directed the launch of a Coast Guard Station Destin 25-foot Response Boat — Small boatcrew and requested the launch of an airplane to cover a search area extending from the entrance of the eastern side of the Choctawhatchee Bay to Destin Harbor. The 8th Coast Guard District authorized the launch of a Coast Guard Air Station Corpus Christi, Texas HU-25 Guardian aircrew after midnight Friday. The HU-25 aircrew located Mcquillian and vectored his location to the Station Destin boatcrew.

Upon arrival, the boatcrew reported Mcquillian appeared to be suffering from a stroke. The boatcrew then anchored his personal craft and took him to shore to awaiting emergency medical services personnel in Destin. EMS took him to Sacred Heart Health System in Pensacola.

“Within 10 minutes of the search, the Falcon [HU-25 Guardian] found him and vectored the boatcrew to his location,” said Lars Kent, break-in command duty officer for Sector Mobile. “He was unable to speak coherently and was disoriented; there was nothing he could have done to help himself. His wife had a good idea of where he was going to go, which was instrumental in our ability to locate him in a timely manner.”

The Coast Guard recommends boaters file a float plan with family or a friend. A float plan includes all information that would help first responders in case of an emergency, such as how many people aboard, where you are going, how long you will be out and a description of your boat. Like a life jacket, float plan is a life-saving device on paper that can make the difference in rescue and response time in the event of an emergency.

His condition is unknown.

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