Coast Guad Suspends Search For Missing Louisiana Boaters

NEW ORLEANS – The Coast Guard suspended its search late Saturday for the two missing crewmen of the 60-foot fishing vessel Silver Wings.

Crews from the Coast Guard Cutter Dauntless, Coast Guard Cutter Pelican, an HH-65C Dolphin rescue helicopter from Air Station New Orleans, an HU-25 Falcon jet fron Aviation Training Center Mobile, Al., and a C-130 Hercules jet from Air Station Clearwater, Fl., have searched 800 nautical square miles using 79 aircraft hours and 46 cutter hours that began Thursday after the vessel reportedly sank with four people onboard 100 miles south of Grand Isle, La.

The Coast Guard received an Emergency Position Indicating radio Beacon EPIRB signal from the vessel Silver Wings at approximately 4 p.m. Thursday and launched an HU-25 Falcon jet from Air Station Corpus Christi to investigate. The Falcon crew located the vessels deflated life raft with no people onboard. A good samaritan from the vessel Crosby Challenger found and rescued one passenger who was clinging to a life ring late Thursday. A crew from Air Station New Orleans found a second crewman clinging to a bouy. Both men were medevaced to Air Station New Orleans where they were then taken by an ambulance to West Jefferson Hospital and listed in stable condition.

“The 406Mhz EPIRB played a major role in finding the two crewman,” said Capt. John Hardin, chief of response for the Eighth Coast Guard District. “Without the EPIRB we would have no indication that the vessel was in distress. The EPIRBs capability to provide location and owner information is really the reason we were able to respond to their location so quickly and definitely made the difference for these two crewmen.”

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