EPIRB guides Coast Guard crew to rescue three mariners in distress near Sapelo Sound, Ga.

7th Coast Guard District NewsBRUNSWICK, Ga. — Coast Guard crews rescued three mariners early Friday morning in Sapelo Sound, Ga., after their fishing vessel ran aground, took on water and began listing.

Watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector Miami received a distress alert from an Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon (EPIRB) belonging to the fishing vessel Canyon Runner. The fishermen had also launched their life raft.

Coast Guard Sector Charleston launched a rescue boat and crew from Coast Guard Station Brunswick, Ga. and a rescue helicopter air crew from Coast Guard Air Station Savannah to search the area. Warhorse, a Good Samaritan vessel, responded and remained on scene with the three-member crew until the Coast Guard rescue crew was on scene and successfully transferred the boaters safely back to land.

The Coast Guard reminds mariners that boating safety equipment offers vital options in unpredictable circumstances.

“The Canyon Runner case underscores the importance of having safety equipment such as EPIRBs and life rafts, onboard your vessel, “said Petty Officer 1st Class Christopher McDonald, a watchstander in Charleston, S.C. “The EPIRB helps us respond quickly to mariners in distress.”

In an unrelated case southeast of Charleston, S.C., another EPIRB was activated. By checking the database, Coast Guard watchstanders successfully contacted the owner and determined the EPIRB had been separated from its boat, the Miss Tracy. After determining all of the crew was safe, resources were directed to other cases.

When a 406 MHz beacon signal is received, search and rescue personnel retrieve information from a registration database. Each 406 MHz beacons –has an identification code, transmitted when the beacons is activated. The code provides critical information about the registered boat and its owner – ensuring a more efficient search and rescue response. In the United States, EPIRB users are required by law to register their beacon 406 MHz Beacon Registration Database by logging on to: http://www.beaconregistration.noaa.gov/, or by calling 1-888-212-SAVE. Users from other countries may register beacons in the national beacon registration database designated for their nation. If none is available, they may access the International Beacon Registration Database at https://www.406registration.com/.

The United States Coast Guard is the lead agency coordinating national maritime search and rescue policy and is responsible for providing search and rescue services on, under and over assigned international waters and waters subject to United States jurisdiction.

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