Coast Guard rescues stranded father, son from mud

 ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. – The Coast Guard rescued a father and his son Thursday after the jet skis they were on got stuck in the mud about three miles northwest of Cape Charles Lighthouse, Va.

Rescued were Claus Althoff and his son Alexander Althoff, 13.

The Coast Guard received a call from the father at about 2:40 p.m. Thursday who stated they got their jet skis stuck in the mud. Claus was able to relay their exact position to the Coast Guard using a global positioning system.

A rescue boatcrew from Coast Guard Station Cape Charles, Va., arrived on scene but could not get close enough to the father and son due to shallow-water conditions.

An HH-65C Dolphin helicopter rescue crew from Coast Guard Air Station Atlantic City arrived on scene, hoisted the two aboard the aircraft and transferred them to Coast Guard Station Cape Charles.

This rescue marks the first for Coast Guard Petty Officer 3rd Class Lake Downham, a rescue swimmer and native of West Chester, Pa.

“It was nice to finally do something after receiving all my training,” Downham said. “They were very thankful and very muddy.”

“We were able to locate the father and son quickly because they gave us their exact position using a handheld GPS unit,” Coast Guard Lt. Ben Walton said. “GPS coordinates take the ‘search’ out of ‘search and rescue.'”

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One Comment

  1. Klaus says:

    My son and I are very greatful for the outstanding support provided by the Coast Guard, both from Charles City and from Atlantic City. The helicopter arrived quickly and the rescue operation was very proficient and fast. At the station of Charles City we were received with great hospitality and very friendly folks. Thank you all for making this the greatest Coast Guard in the world !