Coast Guard rescues 4 persons aground on Pelican Cay

Coast Guard Air Station Clearwater MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter file photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Lisa Ferdinando

Coast Guard MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter file photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Lisa Ferdinando

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico – The crew of a Coast Guard MH-60T Jayhawk helicopter hoisted four men from a pleasure craft Sunday night, after the vessel ran aground on Pelican Cay in Saint Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands.

Rescued were four men after the High Flyer, a 48-foot Viking Sport Fisher registered out of Delaware, ended on the rocks during its transit. The cause of the grounding is yet to be determined.

“These gentlemen are very fortunate, this grounding incident could have resulted in even more serious or fatal injuries,” said Lt. Cmdr. Nestor Lazu-Rivas, Search and Rescue Mission Coordinator for the case. “Fortunately, due to vessel running aground high on the rocks, our rescue crews were able to get on scene and remove all persons without having a situation involving a sinking vessel or people in the water.”

Coast Guard watchstanders at Sector San Juan received a communication from a 911 Emergency operator at 6:58 p.m. Sunday reporting the distress. A Coast Guard Air Station Borinquen MH-60T Jayhawk and a 33-foot Special Purpose Craft from Coast Guard Boat Forces Saint Thomas launched to provide rescue assistance. Once on scene, the shore break and the High Flyer’s position prevented the Coast Guard vessel from reaching and embarking the boaters.

Shortly thereafter, the Coast Guard helicopter hovered over the grounded vessel and the aircrew deployed their rescue swimmer to assess the situation. The aircrew initially hoisted one of the men who sustained injuries and transported him to the Cyril E. King airport in Saint Thomas, where Emergency Medical Service personnel received and transported the patient to a local hospital. Following the transfer, the Coast Guard aircrew returned to the vessel, and used a rescue basket to hoist the three other men safely aboard the aircraft. They aircrew also transported the men to the Cyril E. King airport.

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