Coast Guard assists with rescue of three people near Stratford Point, Conn.

NEW YORK – The Coast Guard assisted with the rescue of three people from an overturned vessel near Stratford Point, Conn., Friday morning.

The Coast Guard received a report from the Fairfield, Conn., Police Department that a 19-foot vessel with three people aboard was taking on water in vicinity of Stratford Point. The mariners did not know their exact position, but they knew they had traveled two and half hours east from City Island, N.Y. They had no VHF radio or signaling devices onboard, so their position was triangulated using cell phone towers. They were all wearing lifejackets.

The Coast Guard Command Center in New Haven, Conn., issued an urgent marine information broadcast and launched a rescue boat crew from Coast Guard Station New Haven. Coast Guard Air Station Cape Cod, Mass., diverted one of their nearby Coast Guard helicopter rescue crews, already in flight.

Marine units from Stratford, Conn., Milford, Conn., and Bridgeport, Conn., Police Departments also responded. The Coast Guard helicopter crew located the vessel, which was overturned with three people clinging to the hull, and vectored the Milford PD rescue boat to the scene where they were able to rescue the mariners.

The mariners were transferred to the Coast Guard rescue boat where they were treated for hypothermia and safely transported to waiting emergency medical specialists at Birdseye boat ramp, in Stratford, Conn.

The mariners declined further medical treatment.

“They had one cell phone between the three of them, so fortunately we were able to get a fix. However, VHF radios are much more reliable because they allow us to get lines of bearing . But they did the right thing by staying with the boat, staying together and wearing their life jackets,” said Peter Winters, Search and Rescue Coordinator with the Coast Guard Command Center in New Haven.

The Coast Guard would like to remind both commercial and recreational mariners of the importance of having a VHF radio aboard when working or playing on the water.

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