Coast Guard responds to distress signal

NEW ORLEANS — The Coast Guard responded to a distress signal from a 26-foot sailing vessel, 30 miles south of Venice, La., Tuesday.

An MH-65C Dolphin rescue helicopter and crew from Coast Guard Air Station New Orleans was diverted from a training mission and arrived at the vessel’s location at 8:36 p.m. A radio was lowered to the vessel and the 26-year-old man onboard indicated that he did not feel safe staying on the vessel due to the high seas. The man was hoisted into the helicopter and transported to Grand Isle, La.

The Coast Guard is continuing to monitor the vessel’s location using the satellite personal tracker. An Urgent Marine Information Broadcast (UMIB) was also issued to mariners as a caution in the area.

“Having a satellite personal tracker and/or an EPIRB onboard a vessel definitely helps our timely response,” said Lt. Nathan Houck, duty watch officer for the Eight Coast Guard District command center.

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