Coast Guard rescues 3 Canadians

ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. – A Coast Guard boat crew and a helicopter crew rescued three sailors early today from a 34-foot sailing vessel disabled and adrift about one nautical mile off Manasquan Inlet, N.J.

The crews rescued Donald Howe, 55, Glenn Briggs, 61, and William LeBlanc, 66, from the sailing vessel, homeported in New Brunswick, Canada. All three men are Canadians.

The Coast Guard Sector Field Office Atlantic City duty officer received a mayday call at 10:23 p.m. Wednesday from the crew of the sailboat, reporting that the vessel’s sails were torn and the boat was out of fuel.

A rescue crew aboard a 47-foot motor lifeboat launched from Station Manasquan Inlet at 10:54 p.m., but, once on scene, was unable to remove the three men from the sailboat due to the sea conditions; the Coast Guard crew reported experiencing seas of eight to ten feet.

A rescue helicopter crew aboard an HH-65C Dolphin rescue helicopter launched from Air Station Atlantic City at 11:18 p.m. Once on scene at 11:40 p.m., the crew lowered their rescue swimmer into the water who swam to the vessel to coordinate the extraction of the three men. Each of the sailboat’s crewmen entered the water, and two were hoisted aboard the helicopter. The third boater and the rescue swimmer were picked up by the Coast Guard boat crew.

The helicopter crew transported the two boaters to the New Jersey State Police landing pad in Sea Girt, N.J. The boaters were taken to Station Manasquan Inlet to meet the third boater and a waiting EMS crew and were released without injury.

Late this morning, the three boaters were transported to the sailboat and provided fuel by a commercial salvage boatcrew. The sailboat is reportedly enroute to Manasquan Inlet.

This case was the first water rescue for the aircrew’s flight mechanic, Petty Officer 2nd Class Randy Beauchamp. Beauchamp, 27, from Marquette, Mich., transferred to Air Station Atlantic City from Air Station Traverse City in August. In his previous assignment, Beauchamp, an aviation maintenance technician, conducted a rescue of people stranded on an ice flow and hoisted a hiker lost in the woods, but points out that water rescues are very different.

“A case like this is much more challenging due to the unique conditions the wind and waves produce” said Beauchamp. “In each case, the conditions on scene dictate how we conduct the rescue. In this case, the conditions were so rough that the crews on scene elected to pick up the boaters from the water instead of the boat.”

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