Coast Guard rescues 2 after fishing boat sinks

In this file photo, a Coast Guard crew from Station Chincoteague, demonstrates the capabilities of the 24-foot Special Purpose Craft - Shallow Water in the Elizabeth River near Portsmouth, Va., Friday, Nov. 21, 2008. The SPC-SW, a new asset intended to operate in areas that other response boats cannot reach, will enhance capabilities for search and rescue, law enforcement, and Homeland Security missions. (U.S. Coast Guard photo/Petty Officer 3rd Class Mark Jones)

USCG File Photo

NEW ORLEANS – The Coast Guard rescued two boaters after their fishing boat sank, Tuesday, in Catfish Lake near Golden Meadow, La.

Rescued were John Farrow, 44, from LaPlace, La., and Derryl Ferguson, 44, from Baton Rouge, La.

Watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector New Orleans Command Center received a call at 9 p.m., from a woman stating that her husband and his friend were overdue from a fishing trip in Catfish Lake. The Golden Meadow Police Department dispatched a patrol unit to the boat launch and were able to confirm that the men’s vehicle was at the launch and there was no sign of them.

The Coast Guard dispatched a 24-foot Special Purpose Craft-Shallow Water (SPC-SW) small boat and crew from Coast Guard Station Grand Isle and a MH-65C Dolphin rescue helicopter and crew from Coast Guard Air Station New Orleans.

Four hours into the search, the MH-65C crew spotted Farrow and Ferguson taking shelter at an abandoned fish camp on the southwest shore of Catfish Lake. The Station Grand Isle crew was directed to the stranded boater’s location. The men stated their vessel sank after encountering rough waves around noon. A small craft advisory issued by the National Weather Service was in effect at the time of the incident.

The Coast Guard small boat took the pair back to their vehicle at the boat launch in Golden Meadow.

“The two friends planned ahead and provided their spouses with detailed information about where they were going to fish and when they planned on returning,” said Petty Officer Brent Massey, an operations unit controller at Sector New Orleans. “The information they left with their families greatly reduced the search area and the time it took to locate them.”

The Coast Guard urges mariners to monitor the weather prior to departing as well as while underway. Weather patterns can form and move quickly potentially putting mariners in danger.

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