Coast Guard medevacs man from grounded sailboat

A sailboat sits grounded on Mustang Island, about 5 miles south of Port Aransas, Texas, after the owner was medevaced for facial injuries Feb. 24, 2017. The Coast Guard received a mayday call on VHF channel 16 at 4:38 a.m., which initiated response efforts. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Jonathan Alexander.

A sailboat sits grounded on Mustang Island, about 5 miles south of Port Aransas, Texas, after the owner was medevaced for facial injuries Feb. 24, 2017.  U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Jonathan Alexander.

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — The Coast Guard located and rescued an injured man after a mayday call was received from his grounded sailboat on Mustang Island, about 5 miles south of Port Aransas, Friday morning.

The man used his VHF marine band radio to make the mayday call and report the distress on channel 16 at 4:38 a.m. Watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector/Air Station Corpus Christi launched their MH-65 Dolphin helicopter, an HC-144 Ocean Sentry airplane and a Coast Guard Station South Padre Island response boat crew to search for him after losing communication with non-specific location and distress information.

He was eventually able to contact his brother and the Coast Guard by texting on his phone. He was instructed to energize his emergency position indicating radio beacon, or EPIRB, which immediately provided a homing signal and location to rescue crews.

The aircrew arrived minutes later medevaced him to Naval Air Station Corpus Christi, where they were met by EMS. He reportedly received injuries to his face, but was in stable condition.

Mariners are reminded the importance of having a VHF marine band radio and EPIRB any time they are operating offshore. This equipment is vitally important for mariners during an emergency.

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