Coast Guard crews respond to 2 flooding boats near Charleston Sunday night

d7CHARLESTON, S.C. – Coast Guardsmen were busy Sunday night rescuing three people from a 17-foot pleasure craft taking on water at the mouth of the Stono River in South Carolina and responding to a report of a 68-foot fishing vessel with three people aboard that struck the south jetty at the entrance to Charleston Harbor and began flooding.

There were no injuries reported following either accident, and all six people declined medical assistance.

The father of one of the people aboard the 17-foot recreational boat called watchstanders in the Coast Guard Sector Charleston command center at 9:24 p.m. to report the vessel was disabled in rough seas and needed assistance. Due to uncertainty of the vessel’s location and poor communications, the watchstanders directed the launch of a boatcrew from Coast Guard Station Charleston and a helicopter crew from Coast Guard Air Facility Charleston. The aircrew spotted the boat aground in a shallow area between Kiawah Island and Folly Beach, where the surface units could not access it.

Shortly after, the vessel began rapidly taking on water so the helicopter crew hoisted all three people off the flooding boat and flew them to Charleston Executive Airport where they declined medical treatment.

St. Johns Fire Rescue and North Charleston Fire Department also assisted during the response.

At 11:35 p.m., Sector Charleston watchstanders were notified that a 68-foot fishing vessel that struck the south jetty at the entrance to Charleston Harbor was rapidly taking on water with three people aboard. A Charleston Fire and Rescue marine unit boat responded to a Coast Guard radio broadcast about the accident and arrived on scene first, removing all three people from the boat and taking them to Wando Shrimp Company at Shem Creek where they declined medical assistance.

Only the stern of the fishing vessel was visible above the waterline when the Coast Guard boatcrew from Station Charleston arrived on scene. The vessel’s captain estimates the shrimp boat has approximately 1,200 gallons of diesel fuel on board.

Coast Guard pollution responders have been notified, and a Coast Guard overflight to assess potential pollution was scheduled for sunrise Monday.

A Charleston pilot boat also assisted during the response.

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