Coast Guard Rescues 3 South of Stratford Point

NEW HAVEN, Conn.–A Coast Guard rescue boat crew plucked three survivors from Long Island Sound after the boaters’ 27-foot vessel, Day Dream, began taking on water and sank two miles south of Stratford Point, Conn., at about 1:45 p.m. today.

All three survivors, Donald and Vicky Graham from Moodus, Conn., and Traci Wring from Gloucester, Conn., were wearing lifejackets and were suffering from mild hypothermia. One survivor was treated for a minor thumb injury. They were in the water for 36 minutes.

The Day Dream boaters notified the Coast Guard at 1 p.m. via marine band radio channel 16 that they were in distress. Coast Guard Sector Long Island Sound rescue controllers issued an Urgent Marine Information Broadcast asking for nearby vessel operators to render assistance.

The Coast Guard also diverted a Station New Haven 41-foot rescue boat crew from escorting the Bridgeport to Port Jefferson Ferry to initiate a search.

The Coast Guard rescue crew was on scene in 22 minutes and took the Day Dream survivors to the Bridgeport Ferry Terminal where awaiting emergency medical personnel transported them to the Bridgeport hospital.

Rescue crews from Milford, Bridgeport, Stratford and Suffolk County Marine Police Departments, the Conn. Department of Environmental Protection and Sea Tow also responded. Coast Guard Air Station Cape Cod launched an HH-60 Jayhawk helicopter and was in the process of launching an HU-25 Falcon helicopter to the scene.

The vessel’s engine failed and it was swamped by the rough seas, reported at three- to five-foot swells. There have been no reports of pollution in the water. The water temperature was reported at 72 degrees. Visibility was reported at less than two miles.

“We were lucky that these people had the ability to tell us their location from their GPS prior to the boat sinking, which helped us find them quickly and pull them out of the water,” said Coast Guard Petty Officer 2nd Class Nicholas Nunnally, coxswain of the 41-foot rescue crew. “Searching for people in the water in conditions like today is very difficult and they could have been in the water a lot longer.”

“The quick response of the rescue boat crew, and the fact that these people were wearing life jackets enabled them to come out of this incident alive and relatively unhurt,” said Capt. Daniel Ronan, Captain of the Port of Long Island Sound. “Unfortunately, eight out of 10 people who die in boating incidents aren’t wearing any type of flotation device. This rescue greatly illustrates that life jackets save lives.”

The Coast Guard rescue crew affixed a strobe light and a large fender to the submerged vessel to alert other mariners in the area of its whereabouts. Coast Guard Sector Long Island Sound issued a Safety Marine Information Broadcast alerting mariners in the area of the partially submerged vessel.

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