Coast Guard rescues injured fishermen 1200 miles off Cabo San Lucas

11th Coast Guard District News
ALAMEDA, Calif. – Crewmembers of the Coast Guard Cutter Morgenthau medically evacuated two injured fishermen from the 200-foot fishing vessel Ventuari some 1,200 miles southwest of Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, Friday, June 17.

Rescue center watch standers at the Eleventh Coast Guard District received a report Wednesday afternoon that while the Ventuari crew was hauling in their catch the vessel’s boom collapsed, landing on and injuring four of the crewmembers.

The Coast Guard Cutter Morgenthau, a 378-foot high-endurance cutter home ported here, was on patrol in the region and was immediately diverted to assist. Morgenthau rendezvoused with the Venezuelan-flagged fishing vessel early Friday, launched its interceptor boats, and transferred two of the four injured fishermen to the cutter. Morgenthau will transport the injured men to medical personnel in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. The other two fishermen’s injuries did not require immediate evacuation and they remained aboard the Ventuari.

“The ability of a high-endurance cutter like Morgenthau to instantly shift from a counter-drug patrol to providing life-saving assistance so far offshore demonstrates one of the Coast Guard’s greatest strengths,” said Capt. Anthony Gentilella, commanding officer of Morgenthau. “We are all grateful we have a ship capable of helping fellow mariners in distress. The flawless transfer of these injured men and the expert care they’ve received is a credit to the ship and to the flexibility, compassion, and dedication to duty of my crew,” he said.

The Morgenthau, equipped with both boats and a helicopter for a variety of missions, is in the Eastern Pacific on a law enforcement patrol interdicting illegal drugs in the transit zone between South and North America. With a combination of long range, speed and the ability to withstand extreme weather, larger Coast Guard cutters like Morgenthau conduct long-range counter-narcotics missions, alien migrant interdiction operations, domestic and international fisheries protection patrols, search and rescue missions, and military operations.

The Coast Guard is in the process of replacing Morgenthau, commissioned March 10, 1969, and the service’s other ‘Secretary-class’ high-endurance cutters with the new ‘Legend-class’ national security cutters. Coast Guard officials point out that the new vessels, two of which are already in the fleet, will allow the Coast Guard to continue providing its unique blend of military capability, federal law enforcement authority and life-saving expertise throughout waters of U.S. interest well into the future.

“The missions performed by this ship are essential,” Gentilella said. “A cutter draws its life from her crew, and Morgenthau is decades older than many of the men and women who must work increasingly hard to keep her aging systems operational. I’m proud of their work and pleased to see a new era of cutters entering service to carry on the proud traditions of Morgenthau and her sister ships,” he said.

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