Coast Guard rescues missing boaters

MOBILE, Ala. — The Coast Guard rescued two missing boaters in Mobile Bay on Sunday.

Watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector Mobile received a call Saturday at approximately 9:30 p.m., from a family member stating that two boaters aboard a 16-foot catamaran had not returned.

The Coast Guard launched an HC-144 Ocean Sentry and crew from Aviation Training Center Mobile and a 41-foot utility boat from Coast Guard Station Dauphin Island. The crew of the Ocean Sentry located the overturned vessel with one person clinging to the hull approximately 12 miles south of Mobile near Gaillard Island at approximately 12 a.m..

The Dauphin Island 41-foot utility boat crew rescued the boater, who stated the other person had attempted to swim ashore wearing a yellow life jacket.

Coast Guard Sector Mobile launched an MH-65C Dolphin helicopter and crew from Coast Guard Air Station New Orleans to assist in the search for the missing person. The crew of the Dolphin found the missing boater on an aid to navigation at approximately 4 a.m. and directed the utility boat crew to that location.

“It is always best to stay with your boat in this type of emergency situation,” said Petty Officer 1st Class Kevin Wingate a search and rescue controller at the Eighth Coast Guard District Command Center. “Staying with your boat gives rescuers a larger target to look for than a single person in the water.”

Also involved in the search were:

* Mobile County Sheriff’s Department
* Alabama Department of Natural Resources
* Mobile Police Department

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