Coast Guard, others rescue 3 in Potomac River

BALTIMORE – The Coast Guard along boat crews from Washington, D.C. Fire Department, D.C. Police Department, Prince George County Police Department and Alexandria Fire Department rescued three people from a boat in the Potomac River near the Naval Research Laboratory Sunday.

A Good Samaritan notified rescuers via marine-band radio at 5:10 p.m., reporting that Babar Iftikhar, 29, was aboard an 18-foot pleasure craft with three people aboard taking on water.

A 25-foot response boat crew from Coast Guard Station Washington, D.C., was diverted and another was launched. Boat crews from D.C. Fire Department, D.C. Police Department, Prince George County Police Department and Alexandria Fire Department were also dispatched. Both Coast Guard boats arrived on scene within five minutes to find D.C. Fire Department and Alexandria Fire Department boat crews alongside the vessel taking on water.

The D.C. Fire Department boat crew transferred a pump to the vessel taking on water and began dewatering it. A Coast Guard boat crew transferred their dewatering pump to the Alexandria Fire Department’s boat and transferred two personnel to assist in dewatering the vessel. The three people were transferred to the D.C. Police Department’s boat.

The D.C. Fire Department boat crew took the vessel in tow to Gravely Point, Va., while a Coast Guard boat crew and a D.C. Police Department boat crew escorted the vessel.

“This is a good example of how the local, state and federal agencies work together to keep the boating public safe in the National Capitol Region,” said Petty Officer 2nd Class Eric Ciuca, a coxswain at Station Washington.
There were no reports of injuries.

The Coast Guard urges mariners to outfit their boat with a functioning marine-band radio. Using channel 16 on a marine-band radio is the most reliable way to communicate a distress to search and rescue personnel in the event of an emergency while on the water.

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