Coast Guard rescues distressed sail vessel “No Problem” east of Cape Canaveral, Fla.

USCG 45 foot RBM file photo

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The Coast Guard responded to a maritime distress call from a sail boat approximately three-miles off the coast of Cape Canaveral, Fla., Wednesday.

Rescued was Derrick Johnston, 42, from Malabar, Fla.

Operational watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector Jacksonville were notified by Johnston aboard the 36-foot sail boat “No Problem,” Wednesday at 8:55 p.m. Johnston indicated that he was too exhausted to safely operate the sail boat and was encountering heavy weather.

Coast Guard Station Port Canaveral deployed a 45-foot rescue boat crew at 9:35 p.m. and arrived on scene at 10:35 p.m. The Coast Guard placed the sail boat in tow and transported it safely ashore.

Although this search and rescue case was successful, and no injuries occurred as a result, the Coast Guard confirmed that the sailboat was not properly equipped and this case could have turned fatal.

In lieu of having no navigational equipment to rely on, such as charts or a compass, the boater relied on his cellular device which was rendered useless after getting wet. In addition, the sail boat was not equipped with navigational lights, which is mandated by law.

The Coast Guard strongly recommends the use of safety equipment such as an Electronic Positioning Indicating Radio Beacon more commonly known throughout the maritime community as an EPIRB. When a satellite picks up an EPIRB’s signal it calculates an accurate position of the distress and the Coast Guard is able to dispatch rescue crews to that location.

Furthermore, all boaters are reminded to monitor weather conditions before getting underway and to monitor fatigue while underway. The marine environment, motion, vibration, engine noise, sun, wind and spray accelerates fatigue. Fatigue on the water can affect judgment, vision, balance and coordination and can increase the likelihood of accidents afloat.c

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