Coast Guard rescues man 155 miles off Turks and Caicos

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

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

MIAMI — A Coast Guard Air Station Clearwater MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter aircrew rescued a man Thursday after his vessel became disabled approximately 155 miles northeast of Turks and Caicos.

District Seven watchstanders received an Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon (EPIRB) alert from the vessel Erin Kjrra’s owner Wednesday, alerting them of his distress at approximately 1:30 a.m., Wednesday.

An Air Station Clearwater HC-130 Hercules aircrew arrived on scene and requested assistance from an Automated Mutual-Assistance Vessel Rescue System (AMVER) vessel in order to establish communication with the owner. The owner reported his vessel became disabled while traveling from Trinidad to The Bahamas. He stated he suffered minor injuries but did not require a higher level of care.

At the time, the owner did not want to leave his vessel.

The HC-130 aircrew provided the owner with food, blankets and a radio, and placed him on a communication schedule with District Seven watchstanders through the night to monitor his well-being.

Due to safety of life at sea concerns caused by pending inclement weather, Thursday, District Seven watchstanders diverted a Coast Guard Air Station Miami HC-144 Ocean Sentry aircrew and launched a Clearwater Jayhawk aircrew to rescue the man off his vessel.

He was brought to a Providenciales International Airport, Turks and Caicos.

“Thankfully, the operator was equipped with an electronic locater beacon, which alerted the Coast Guard of the situation, and proved incredibly vital due to limited offshore communications,” said Rear Adm. Brendan McPherson, Seventh District Commander. “The success of this long-range rescue mission is a testament to our ability to quickly leverage our dedicated crews and multiple air and surface assets to reach far offshore to save a life. I commend my aircrews for managing the risks and safely bringing a fellow mariner home.”

“Offshore and coastal small craft advisories are being issued by the National Weather Service for the next few days for large portions of south Florida, so I urge all mariners to heed local weather warnings, particularly, for anyone considering an unsafe or illegal migrant venture. Your Coast Guard will maintain a vigilant and consistent presence throughout the region to save lives and to protect our southeast maritime approaches.”

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