Coast Guard rescues stranded boater off Saint John, U.S. Virgin Islands

Boat Forces Detachment St. Thomas 33-foot Special Purpose Craft–Law Enforcement file photo

Boat Forces Detachment St. Thomas 33-foot Special Purpose Craft–Law Enforcement file photo

SAINT JOHN, U.S. Virgin Islands — A Coast Guard boat crew rescued a stranded boater Wednesday morning after the man’s 20-foot pleasure craft became disabled and was found washed up on the rocks on Steven Cay just off St. John, U.S. Virgin Islands.

“The whole crew did an exceptional job and the rescue couldn’t have gone any more smoothly,” said Petty Officer 2nd Class Nicholas Cotton, 33-foot Special Purpose Craft-Law Enforcement coxswain “Our whole crew is just happy to know the boater is safe and with family. We wish him a speedy recovery.”

At approximately 1:13 a.m. Wednesday, watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector San Juan received a call from a woman who reported her 36-year-old boyfriend had called and told her that his vessel, Lin Q, was disabled near Steven Cay just off Saint John.

The woman further reported she had gone out to the area on a small vessel and could see her boyfriend’s boat on the rocks at Steven Cay, but they were unable to get close enough due to the large reef line around the cay.

Watchstanders launched a Coast Guard 33-foot Special Purpose Craft – Law Enforcement vessel from Boat Forces Detachment St. Thomas to the scene, and notified St. John Rescue, who also launched a vessel to provide rescue assistance.

Upon arriving on scene, the Coast Guard boat crew made several callouts to the boater with a loudhailer and searched around the island until they located the pleasure craft washed up on shore. Shortly thereafter, the Coast Guard boat crew proceeded to transit in the opposite direction around the cay located the boater after hearing his calls for help. To recover the boater, the Coast Guard crew maneuvered their vessel as close to shore as was safely possible and proceeded to throw a heaving line with a life jacket attached, which allowed the crew to pull-in and bring the boater onboard.

Following the rescue, the Coast Guard boat crew transported the man to Red Hook in Saint Thomas, where he was transferred to an awaiting Emergency Medical Service ambulance unit.

The Coast Guard reminds boaters and mariners of ongoing small craft advisories dangerous surf and marine conditions in the U.S. Virgin Islands. Seas 8 to 12 feet expected across the Atlantic waters and passages throughout Wednesday with breaking waves or up to 18 feet.

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