Coast Guard rescues 2 men from beached vessel

Coast Guard Air Station New Orleans MH-65 Dolphin helicopter

Coast Guard Air Station New Orleans MH-65 Dolphin helicopter file photo

NEW ORLEANS — The Coast Guard rescued two 70-year-old men from a beached vessel at Freemason Island, Louisiana, Friday.

Watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector Mobile, Alabama, received a report at 8:11 a.m. of an overdue 25-foot vessel with two men aboard.

The two men departed Bay St. Louis Wednesday and were expected to return Thursday.

Sector watchstanders directed the launch of an HC-144 Ocean Sentry airplane crew from Coast Guard Aviation Training Center Mobile to locate the men.

Sector watchstanders received a report by an oilrig helicopter crew of a capsized vessel beached at Freemason Island with two people on land waving their hands.

The Coast Guard airplane crew arrived on scene at 11:05 a.m. and located the men.

Sector watchstanders directed the launch of an MH-65 Dolphin helicopter crew from Coast Guard Air Station New Orleans to rescue the men.

The helicopter crew landed on the island, recovered the men and transported them to Stennis International Airport in stable condition.

“This is a great example of how filing a float plan can save your life,” said Lt. Alex Gomez, a search and rescue mission coordinator at Sector Mobile. “A float plan can be as simple as telling a friend or family member where and when you are planning on departing and returning. If you don’t arrive back on time, that vital information can be relayed to the proper authorities so we can, like today, rescue those in need as quickly as possible.”

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