Coast Guard Rescues Stranded Sailors

SAVANNAH, Ga. – A Coast Guard aircrew rescued three men from a 38-foot fishing vessel that had run aground three-miles east of St. Catharine’s Sound, Ga., Sunday at 11:50 p.m.Myles Randall, 53; Guy Jennings, 35; and the vessel’s captain Michael Schnake, 61; were ferrying the Kristine from Beaufort, S.C., to Tampa, Fla., when they ran aground. The crew called for help on their VHF marine radio channel 16 giving a vessel’s description and location. After they made their call for help, the vessel rolled submerging the deck and disabling the radio.

Rescue coordinators at Sector Charleston, S.C., received the mayday call and launched a Coast Guard rescue boatcrew from Station Tybee Island, Ga., and a Coast Guard aircrew from Air Station Savannah, Ga. The aircrew arrived at the Kristine’s position 30-minutes after rescue coordinators received the call. The Kristine was submerged to its sails, and the three crew members were hanging onto the mast and the sides of the vessel.

“The survivors made an excellent choice in staying with the vessel. Had they decided to leave it, it would have made it much more difficult to locate them and safely bring them to land,” said Petty Officer 2nd Class Zee Lee, the helicopter’s rescue swimmer.

The helicopter crew lowered their helicopter rescue swimmer to assist the men. The swimmer assisted each of the sailors off their vessel and away from the rigging where the pilot and the flight mechanic proceeded to hoist each of the men to safety. Once all three of the survivors were aboard the helicopter, the aircrew returned to Air Station Savannah where all survivors were in good condition.

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