Coast Guard rescues 5 from fishing vessel taking on water 120 miles offshore Mobile

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MOBILE, Ala. — The Coast Guard rescued five people from a fishing vessel taking on water approximately 120 miles south of Mobile in the Gulf of Mexico Friday.

Watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector Mobile received notification, Friday, from a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration observer aboard the fishing vessel Longshot that the vessel was taking on water; the observer activated her personal locator beacon. The captain of the Longshot reported water had flooded the lazarette, which caused the stern of the vessel to start taking water over the stern.

Sector Mobile directed the launch of a Coast Guard Aviation Training Center Mobile HC-144 Ocean Sentry aircrew, an MH-65 rescue helicopter crew from Coast Guard Air Station New Orleans and the Coast Guard Cutter Coho. The aircrews delivered two dewatering pumps; however, the Longshot crewmembers were not able to pump water out of the lazarette faster than the in-flow of water.

The Air Station New Orleans MH-65 crew transferred all five to the mobile offshore drilling unit Thunderhorse and stayed overnight due to safety and crew fatigue; because of safety concerns, the Thunderhorse declined lowering the five people to the Orion. The aircrew transported the survivors during two trips to the air station in Belle Chasse Saturday morning.

All five reported no injuries or medical concerns.

“The crew made an excellent decision to contact the Coast Guard as soon as possible when their situation worsened. Having the proper safety equipment, especially their life vests, was critical in making the hoisting evolutions safe and efficient,” said Lt. Linh Vinh, Air Station New Orleans pilot. “The rough seas we were working against were the worst I have seen, but the rigorous training we complete at Air Station New Orleans prepared me well.”

The Coast Guard advises mariners to always wear their life jacket, since they increase the chances of survival and enhance visibility of persons in distress to first responders.
The Coast Guard also recommends boaters have an emergency position indicating radio beacon on board their vessel. An EPIRB provides search-and-rescue coordinators with vital information such as phone numbers and the description and type of vessel, which can help reduce the time it takes to locate anyone in distress. Boaters should register their EPIRB at

For more information on EPIRBs and other signaling devices, click here.

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