Coast Guard Rescues Dog and 4 Sailors

KEY WEST, Fla. – A Coast Guard crew from Air Station Miami located four men and a dog in a life raft 14 miles northwest of Dry Tortugas National Park, Fla., about 11 p.m. Thursday after their 93-foot vessel sank.

George Wright, Sr., 65, an Irvington, Ala., resident and master of the vessel, Michael Dickens, 46, a resident of Mobile, Ala., Robert Campbell, 46, a resident of Port-Au-Prince, Haiti, and Guy Short, 49, a resident of Cordova, Ore., were forced to abandon ship with their dog, Shipwreck, and inflate the survival raft after their vessel, Chelsea, sank when water starting coming over the stern of the ship.

Coast Guard watchstanders at the Coast Guard District Seven Command Center received an Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon (EPIRB) signal at 8:49 p.m. yesterday and launched an HU-25 Falcon jet from Miami to search for the crew and vessel.

Upon locating the survivors, the Falcon crew guided the Good Samaritan, fishing vessel, JT, which was operating in the area, to the scene. The crew of the JT safely recovered the four men and their dog. The Coast Guard Cutter Key Biscayne arrived later to transport the survivors to Key West. The men and the dog were reported to be in good condition.

“This case emphasizes how important it is for mariners to have proper life-saving equipment and to know how to use it,” said Lt. Cmdr. Chris O’Neil, public affairs officer for the Seventh Coast Guard District. “The crew of the JT demonstrated the finest traditions of maritime service in rescuing the crew of the Chelsea, and our search and rescue coordinators and aircrew were able to quickly get help to the scene because of the Chelsea’s EPIRB signal.”

The Chelsea and its crew were transiting from Bayou Le Batre, La., to Port-Au-Prince, Haiti. The vessel sank in 180 feet of water.

The cutter Key Biscayne is a 110-foot patrol boat homeported in St. Petersburg, Fla.

Source: D8i Office of External Affairs

ED: Is it just me or does the idea of a sailor having a dog named Shipwreck just asking for trouble?
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