Missing boaters found, rescued off Honduran coast

Southeastern Coast Guard News
MIAMI — Nine boaters who have been missing since Saturday have been rescued after being found by a Coast Guard C-130 Hercules aircrew at approximately 10:30 a.m. Wednesday, about 55 miles northwest of their intended destination in Utila, Honduras.

The boaters were spotted by a Coast Guard Air Station Clearwater, Fla., aircrew who directed an Army UH-60 helicopter crew to hoist the survivors.

The boaters were originally reported missing after they did not arrive at their intended destination of Utila Island, Honduras.

Upon receiving the notification, the Coast Guard immediately began search and rescue coordination efforts with the Rescue Coordination Center in Cocesna, Honduras, and issued an Enhanced Group Call (EGC).  Rescue crews searched more than 4,502 square miles, an area greater than the states of Delaware and Rhode Island combined.

“The nine young boaters were safely rescued today due to the vigilant search efforts by the Coast Guard and our partner agencies assisting in the search.  Ultimately these efforts saved the lives of these nine boaters,” said Rear Adm. Jake Korn, commander of the Seventh Coast Guard District.  “This case underscores the importance of having safety equipment such as a registered emergency position indicating radio beacon (EPIRB) onboard your vessel; EPIRBs help us respond quickly to the exact position of mariners in distress.”

“Search conditions were ideal today, with good visibility and seas less than three feet.  The survivors’ original plans were to travel from Roatan to Utila, a trip of approximately 18 miles,” said Michael Mullen, Seventh Coast Guard District command duty officer.

The following assets and crews assisted in the search:

  • Coast Guard Air Station Clearwater C-130 aircrews
  • Army UH-60 helicopter crew attached to U.S. Southern Command, based out of Honduras
  • Navy C-12 aircrew attached to U.S. Southern Command, based out of Honduras
  • Honduras naval crews and assets



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