Coast Guard rescues boater near Lake Pontchartrain, Louisiana

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 a 59-year-old male boater after his vessel capsized Thursday near Lake Pontchartrain, Louisiana.

Watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector New Orleans received a call from the boater’s wife who was in direct communication with him after his 9-foot homemade skiff capsized near the I-10 bridge.

Watchstanders coordinated the launch of a Coast Guard Station New Orleans 45-foot Response Boat–Medium boatcrew and a Coast Guard Air Station New Orleans MH-65 Dolphin helicopter crew.

The man set off his emergency position-indicating radio beacon and also used his cell phone to communicate with his wife and the Coast Guard. The aircrew was able to locate the man after using a locator app on his cell phone. The aircrew found him a couple miles east of the I-10 bridge where he was hanging on to his capsized vessel wearing a life jacket.

The aircrew hoisted the boater and transported him to an awaiting ambulance at Lakefront Airport in New Orleans with hypothermia-like symptoms.

The man was last reported in stable condition.

“The main take away from this incident is that the boater had a life jacket and resources with him to notify us he was in distress,” said Cmdr. Rob Trevino, Sector New Orleans Search and Rescue Mission Coordinator. “We highly recommend to any boaters going out to wear a proper life jacket and have an emergency position-indicating radio beacon with them. The man highly increased his survivability in this situation due to him having the necessary safety equipment and notifying someone of where he was going.”

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