Coast Guard rescues 2 after vessel sinks

NEW ORLEANS — The Coast Guard rescued two people, Wednesday, after their vessel sank five miles northwest of Baptiste Collette Bayou, near Venice, La.

Coast Guard Sector New Orleans watchstanders received a mayday broadcast from the crew of the vessel Whitetail, Wednesday, at approximately 3:30 p.m., stating that their vessel was taking on water and both people aboard were preparing to abandon ship.

The watchstanders were able to aquire the Whitetail’s position using direction finding equipment integrated in the Rescue 21 VHF-FM radio system. A Coast Guard 33-foot response boat and crew from Coast Guard Station Venice and an MH-65C rescue heliocopter from Coast Guard Air Station New Orleans were diverted to the scene. The response boat arrived to find the Whitetail had sunk and both people were in the water wearing life jackets. The response boat rescued both people, and they were taken to awaiting EMS in Venice.

“Two pieces of equipment saved the two mariner’s lives: a working VHF marine-band radio and life jackets. Using their VHF radio allowed the mariners to make direct contact to the Coast Guard and allowed us to use direction finding equipment to obtain the vessel’s position,” said Lt. Cheryl Hickey, the command duty officer at Sector New Orleans. “Additionally, wearing Coast Guard-approved life jackets kept the mariners afloat and made them visible to the rescue crew.”

The conditions of the rescued are unknown.

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