Coast Guard, Navy, fire rescue respond to kayaker in distress on Guam

US Navy MH-60 File photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Zachary DiPadova

US Navy MH-60 file photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Zachary DiPadova

SANTA RITA, Guam — Two men are safe in Guam following a coordinated rescue by the Navy, Guam Fire Rescue and the Coast Guard, Monday.

A Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron Two Five MH-60 Seahawk helicopter crew located and hoisted the two men from the rocks near the shoreline south of Pagat Caves and brought them safely to Andersen Air Force Base.

“This case illustrates the vital partnership between the Coast Guard, Guam Fire Rescue and the Navy,” said Chief Petty Officer Sean Soule, a command duty officer at Coast Guard Sector Guam. “We depend on the agencies at hand here in Guam to effect timely rescues around the region. Working together vastly increases our resources and in turn our success.”

Watchstanders at the Sector Guam command center received notification just after 8 p.m. from 911 dispatch of two kayakers stranded on the cliffside in vicinity of Pagat Caves. One man was in board shorts and a white rash guard while the other man was only in board shorts.

The Seahawk crew and a Coast Guard Station Apra Harbor 45-foot Response Boat-Medium crew were launched to respond. GFR was already responding but was unable to get close to the kayakers due to terrain and a lack of daylight.

The Seahawk crew arrived on scene and effected the rescue. Both kayakers were in good conditions and uninjured.

A subsequent debrief revealed the men had set out from the Marbo cave area earlier in the day. Their two-man kayak suffered a possible puncture when it struck the reefline causing water intrusion. They were forced to abandon the kayak south of the Marbo cave area and took a southerly route along the rocks intending to find a area to scale the cliff during the last bit of daylight. As they lost the light and remained stranded they called 911 for assistance.

Weather was reported as winds 16 to 20 mph with seas to 4 feet, a high tide of 2.3 feet and good visibility.

The Coast Guard reminds watersports enthusiasts to take multiple forms of communication, leave word with family and friends and ensure they have clothing for prolonged exposure to the elements when they take to the water.

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