Coast Guard spreads Thanksgiving cheer to rescued Argentinian family

ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. – The Coast Guard opened their doors to an Argentinian family of five Thursday after the family was rescued outside of Absecon Inlet, N.J.

The family was on their 42-foot sailboat making a trip from New York to Princeton, N.J., when their sailboat lost power and the weather worsened. Unable to safely sail without navigation lights, and with everyone aboard suffering from sea sickness, a rescue boat crew from Coast Guard Station Atlantic City went out, located the boat and safely towed them to Frank S. Farely State Marina in Atlantic City.

Once the crew returned to the station, Petty Officer 3rd Class Andrew Pero wondered if the family would like to share Thanksgiving dinner with the crew at the station.

“Everyone here understood the family’s situation,” Pero said. “We’re all in the same boat. As Coast Guard members, our families aren’t around here either to celebrate Thanksgiving, and they were stranded and away from their family. We all thought we could make their situation better.”

The crew members went back to the boat and left a note for the family, inviting them to the station for dinner.

“The family was staying at a local hotel and planned to go back to their boat to have dinner,” Petty Officer 2nd Class Brian Milcetich said.

Rather than eating aboard their boat, the family arrived at the station hours later and accepted the invitation.

“When the family got here, we gave them a tour, hung out for a few hours and ate dinner,” Milcetich said. “They were all very grateful and appreciative for the invitation.”

“It was great having the family over,” Pero said. “We learned more about them and how they came to the United States, and we also learned about the father’s time he served in the Argentinian Army. Everyone had a great time.”

While Thanksgiving may have different meanings to different people, for the crew of Coast Guard Station Atlantic City, the holiday meant reaching out to a family in need, during a time of need.

“We didn’t want helping that family to end when the case was closed,” Milcetich said.

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