Coast Guard rescues man from disabled sailboat

NEW YORK – The U.S. Coast Guard rescued a man from his disabled sailboat, 35 miles southeast of Shinnecock, N.Y., Saturday evening, Nov. 20, 2010.

A watchstander at Coast Guard Sector Long Island Sound received a distress call from a man on the sailboat Boom De Yada at 1:35 p.m. Saturday, stating his sail was torn and a line was fouled in the boat’s propeller, causing the boat to be adrift.

Saturday’s rescue was marred early on by a lack of accurate information, when the distressed mariner could not accurately pass his correct position.

Search and rescue coordinators at the Coast Guard Sector spotted the mistake in the distressed mariner’s reported position, re-calculated his position and launched a search and rescue jet from Coast Guard Air Station Cape Cod which spotted the 29-foot sailboat adrift and confirmed its position. Additionally, a rescue boat crew from Coast Guard Station Shinnecock, N.Y., responded to the scene.

The Coast Guard rescue boat crew towed the disabled sailboat to Shinnecock where they were met by awaiting EMS. The man complained of head and back pain and was transferred to South Hampton Hospital for further evaluation.

“We want to encourage mariners to have and use the proper safety equipment while out sea, especially during the winter months with deteriorating weather conditions,” said Lt. Engrid Elso, search and rescue watch officer at Sector Long Island Sound, “the Coast Guard also recommends having an EPIRB onboard and filing a float plan with relatives or friend.”

EPIRBs are emergency position-indicating radio beacons, which broadcast a signal for rescue coordinators to use to dispatch surface or air assets to the scene of distress.

The Coast Guard encourages boaters to take a safer approach during the winter season by ensuring they have a Coast Guard-approved lifejacket and wear it while on the water. Other safety measures that can save your life are:

  • Have your vessel inspected by the Coast Guard Auxiliary or Power Squadron.
  • File a float plan with someone who knows when you are leaving, where you are going and when you plan to be back.
  • Make sure you have working sound-producing devices in the event of an emergency in low visibility.
  • Ensure flares are in working condition.
  • Have a working VHF marine band radio onboard to call for help.

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