Coast Guard boat crew rescues stranded boater in Saint Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands

The crew of a Boat Forces Detachment St Thomas 33 SPC-LE rescued kayaker in distress west if Perseverance Bay in Saint Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands Aug. 30, 2020. The kayaker was transported to shore, where he was received by awaiting Emergency Medical Service personnel. (U.S. Coast Guard Photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Andrew Koelle.)

The crew of a Coasat Guard Boat Forces Detachment St Thomas 33 SPC-LE rescued kayaker in distress west if Perseverance Bay in Saint Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands Aug. 30, 2020.  (U.S. Coast Guard Photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Andrew Koelle.)

SAINT THOMAS, U.S. Virgin Islands —The crew of a Coast Guard Boat Forces Detachment St Thomas 33 Special Purpose Craft-Law Enforcement rescued a kayaker in distress west of Perseverance Bay in Saint Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands Sunday evening.

Coast Guard watchstanders in Sector San Juan received a call from a Saint Thomas 911 Emergency Service operator at 5:30 p.m. Sunday, reporting a call from the kayaker, who relayed he had suffered a pulled shoulder and could not make it back to shore.

With sunset approaching, the Boat Forces crew responded and searched the area, when shortly thereafter the kayaker was spotted stranded on the rocky shore of Perseverance Bay.

The boat crew utilized a rescue line to help assist the kayaker to the boat and safely recover him from the water. The kayaker was transported to pier at the University of the Virgin Islands, where he was received by awaiting Emergency Medical Service personnel.

“Thanks to the swift response and highly skilled crew we were able to achieve the best case scenario for the situation,” said Petty Officer 2nd Class Eduardo Sanchez, who served as the boat Coxswain for the case. “Arriving on scene before sunset was key to us being able to spot and rescue him.”

Sanchez further relayed that the case was really rewarding since it was also the first rescue case for two of the crew.

“We are constantly training to remain proficient and be at our best when the call comes in, being able to rely on your training to help save a life is what it’s all about and makes all the hard work worthwhile,” said Sanchez.

Sanchez additionally mentioned that the kayaker was able to call in the distress using his cel phone, but the device was close to losing signal.

It’s important for boaters to have some type of VHF marine communications as a primary means of communication, to always use a life jacket and prepare a float plan that will be shared with a responsible person who can call for help and provide the details of a voyage in case of an overdue situation.

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