Coast Guard, good Samaritan rescue 3 off Ocean City, MD

Mid Atlantic Coast Guard NewsPORTSMOUTH, Va. — The Coast Guard and good Samaritans assisted in rescuing three people from a pleasure craft that was taking on water approximately 25 miles southeast of Ocean City, Md., Monday.

The operator of the Last One contacted Coast Guard Sector Hampton Roads watchstanders at approximately 12:15 p.m. via VHF-FM channel 16 reporting the Last One, a 27-foot pleasure craft, was taking on water after the boat’s hull had been damaged by its anchor.

Coast Guard Sector Hampton Roads watchstanders issued an urgent marine information broadcast and dispatched rescue crews aboard an MH-65 Dolphin helicopter from Coast Guard Air Station Atlantic City, N.J., and a 47-foot Motor Life Boat crew from Coast Guard Station Ocean City.

Three crewmembers aboard the LiL Angler II, a 38-foot fishing vessel in the area, responded to the broadcast and diverted to the people in distress. Once on scene at approximately 12:30 p.m., the good Samaritans aboard the LiL Angler II transferred a dewatering pump to the Last One and remained on scene until Coast Guard crews arrived.

“The crew of the good Samaritan boat made this one of the easiest cases I have worked,” said Lt. Joseph Heal, a pilot from Air Station Atlantic City. “They lent their hand pump to the sinking vessel, provided updated position reports, and popped an emergency smoke signal, which allowed us to locate the sinking vessel quickly and provide immediate assistance. If they had not been there, we could have been searching a large area for three people in the water.”

The helicopter crew arrived on scene at approximately 1 p.m. and transferred a dewatering pump and rescue swimmer to the Last One to assist in dewatering efforts. At approximately 1:40 p.m., the Coast Guard boat crew arrived on scene and transferred one of their crewmembers to the Last One to relieve the rescue swimmer. There, he assisted the crew of the Last One in dewatering efforts, as the Last One made way to the West Ocean City Boat Ramp in Ocean City, while the Coast Guard crew escorted them.

“With the good Samaritans being first on scene and able to transfer a dewatering pump to the distressed vessel, this bought the Last One’s crew time until the Coast Guard was able to render assistance,” said Fireman Nathaniel Cassar, an engineer from Coast Guard Station Ocean City who responded to the distress call.

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