Coast Guard rescues 25-year-old man spotted at sea off Florida

A 25-year-old man treads water 5 miles east of Port Everglades Wednesday, June 6, 2018. Coast Guard rescue crews spotted the man and rescued him after being notified he was missing from a 456-foot Liberian-flagged container ship. U.S. Coast Guard illustration courtesy of Air Station Miami.

A 25-year-old Filipino lost at sea off the coast of South Florida was plucked from the drink on Wednesday, all thanks to the sharp gaze of US Coast Guard aircrew.

Treading water 5 miles east of Port Everglades, Lorejei Moscoso had fallen off of a 456-foot Liberian-flagged cargo vessel Vega Sagittarius only three hours prior when he was spotted by the crew of an USCG MH-65 Dolphin Search and Rescue (SAR) helicopter, based out of Opa-Locka.

Given the vastness of the ocean, finding Moscoso was no easy feat, even with an altitude advantage.

“When you’re out on the water or in aircraft, you’re looking for something that’s about the size of a basketball floating in the water,” U.S. Coast Guard District 7 spokesman Jonathan Lally told BNQT. “And depending on the distance, obviously that’s going to make it bigger or smaller.”

Reported missing at 6:40 in the morning, he was found by 8:25.

Moscoso was lucky- the water he was treading in was a warm and calm 82 degrees, unlike the colder waters further out that would have led to faster exhaustion and cold exposure.

However, he might not have survived had the conditions been in his favor, given that he had no Personal Flotation Device, which are generally made in bright colors to provide rescuers something to easily spot.

“It dramatically increases your chances of survival because the inflatable or the Type 3s, they’re brightly colored so it’s easier for rescue crews to be able to spot something in the water compared to if you didn’t have one on,” Lally said.

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