Coast Guard Helicopter Crew Rescues Alabama Man from Disabled Sailboat

NEW ORLEANS- The Coast Guard rescued one person from a 32-foot sailboat south of Apalachicola, Florida, early this morning.

A watchstander at Coast Guard Air Station New Orleans received the distress call at 10:22 p.m., with a report of a disabled and damaged sailing vessel with one man aboard. The man contacted his wife via cell phone stating that his vessel had lost electrical power, propulsion, and high winds had significantly damaged his main sail leaving him essentially adrift for over five hours. The boat was located approximately 20 miles south of St. George Island, Florida.

Coast Guard Air Station New Orleans launched an HH-65C Dolphin helicopter crew to rescue the man. The crew arrived on scene to find the vessel floundering in 6 to 8 foot seas and over 30 knots of wind. The rescue swimmer was deployed to the water near the vessel, assisted the man into the rescue basket and both were hoisted safely into the helicopter. The aircrew transported the man to Apalachicola Municipal Airport and released him in excellent condition.

Rescued was Robert Hicks, 58, from Loxley, Alabama.

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