Coast Guard rescues fisherman off Carolina Coast

CHARLESTON, S.C. – A Coast Guard helicopter crew rescued a man experiencing chest pains aboard a chartered fishing vessel five miles east of Little River, S.C., Saturday at 10:45 a.m.

James F. Smith, 60, of Granite Falls, N.C., began experiencing chest pains aboard the chartered fishing vessel West Wind from Little River. The crew of the West Wind radioed Coast Guard rescue coordinators at Sector Charleston for help at 9:15 a.m.

Rescue coordinators launched a helicopter crew from Air Station Savannah, Ga., to transport Smith to safety. Meanwhile, a fellow passenger aboard the West Wind, who was a dentist, was able to keep Smith stabilized while waiting for the helicopter to arrive at the West Wind’s position.

The Coast Guard aircrew arrived at the vessel’s position at 10:45 a.m. and lowered their rescue swimmer down to the vessel. The rescue swimmer stabilized Smith and the helicopter crew hoisted Smith to safety.

Smith was taken to Grand Strand Hospital in Myrtle Beach, S.C., at 11:00 a.m. Smith’s current medical condition is unknown.

The seas offshore where the passengers were fishing were two- to-three feet with five- to-10 mph winds.

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