Boating Accident News 1/24/2014

By Kristy Moore posted 01-27-2014 11:01 AM


Four lives saved Refuels with a U.S. Navy missile destroyer, a vessel in distress 300 miles off the coast and heroic aircrews – yesterday’s rescue by Air Station Elizabeth City had it all! The mission began when it was reported that a 42-foot sailboat had become disabled and was adrift during its transit from New York to the British Virgin Islands. Watchstanders at the 5th Coast Guard District determined that responding with a Coast Guard cutter was not feasible due to the distance offshore. Watchstanders then contacted U.S. Fleet Forces requesting a Navy vessel to assist the Coast Guard in their response. The USS Ross, a 505-foot guided missile destroyer, diverted course to provide a refueling platform for a Coast Guard helicopter. Read full story here.  

Fisherman drowns after boat overturns in Hoke County pond 1/16/14 Raeford, NC - A Hoke County man drowned Wednesday while fishing on a pond just south of Raeford, the Hoke County Sheriff's Office said.  John Mims, 58, of 208 Bugle Call Drive in Raeford, was pronounced dead at Cape Fear Valley Medical Center about 4:45 p.m., authorities said.  Mims and a friend, Calvin Ely, were fishing from a small boat in Williamson Pond, near South Bethel Road, about 3 p.m., Sheriff Hubert Peterkin said.  The boat overturned when Mims caught a fish and and stood to retrieve it. Both men went into the water, Peterkin said.  Ely tried to help Mims, who went underwater, Peterkin said. Ely swam to shore for help but wasn't able to use his cell phone, which had gotten wet.  After going to several houses, Ely found a retired law enforcement officer at home, Peterkin said.  Rescuers found Mims in the area where he had gone underwater, Peterkin said. Read full story here. 

Rescued boaters brought safely to Coast Guard station 1/15/14 Atlantic Beach, FL— Three boaters whose vessel was taking on water 25 miles northeast of Ponce de Leon Inlet, Fla., Wednesday, arrived safely at Coast Guard Station Ponce De Leon Inlet at 4:39 p.m. Wednesday. Crewmembers assigned to Station Ponce de Leon Inlet came to the aid of the three men, who reported a crack in the hull of their 23-foot vessel, Mo Money, Wednesday morning. The original press release is available here. The men made a temporary repair, using a life jacket to patch the hole, but the flooding worsened as the vessel was transiting to shore so the Coast Guardsman and the one boater who remained on the Mo Money were transferred to the Coast Guard vessel. A second Coast Guard boatcrew from Station Ponce De Leon Inlet arrived on scene, passed over another de-watering pump, and towed the Mo Money to the Coast Guard Station. "This rescue is an excellent example of why it is so important for boaters to have VHF-FM marine radios," said Lt. Cmdr. Patrick Sullivan, Sector Jacksonville command duty officer. "The men were able to contact us immediately to tell us they were in trouble, and we were able to maintain communication with them until our boatcrew arrived." Read full story here. 

Coast Guard responds to vessel sinking near Wrangell, Alaska 1/14/14 Juneau, AK — Coast Guard Marine Safety Detachment Ketchikan personnel are working with responders to assess and mitigate pollution from the 60-foot Silver Bay II that reportedly sank at its moorings at the Wrangell Silver Bay logging sawmill along Zimovia Strait Tuesday.  Containment boom has been mobilized around the site of the sinking and the owner of the vessel has hired divers to conduct an assessment of the vessel and cap fuel tanks. Dive operations have been placed on hold due to weather, which has delayed the salvage company’s transit and arrival time. Coast Guard personnel are on site and are working with the owner, Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation and other federal, state and local agency partners to develop a response plan.  The owner of the Silver Bay II, a steel-hulled former tug now in private service as a recreational vessel, notified the Coast Guard Tuesday afternoon of the sinking. The vessel is reportedly sunk in approximately 120 feet of water with an estimated potential fuel load of 3,500 gallons of diesel fuel aboard. No one was aboard the vessel at the time of the sinking and no injuries have been reported.  Coast Guard pollution investigators conducted an overflight of the area aboard a floatplane midday Wednesday and observed a sheen that extends a few miles away from the sunken vessel.  “Our primary concern is the safety of the responders as they work to mitigate any existing pollution and assess the vessel,” said Cmdr. Marc Burd, chief of response at Coast Guard Sector Juneau. “Coast Guard personnel are on site with the responders to resolve this sinking with as little impact to the environment as possible and we are communicating with ADEC and all our other partner agencies as we move forward.”  Weather in the area at the time of the report of the sinking was reportedly 17 to 23 mph winds with rain and an air temperature of 46 degrees Fahrenheit. Weather forecast for the area Thursday morning is reportedly 17 to 28 mph winds decreasing by afternoon with periods of heavy rain. The cause of the sinking in currently unknown. Read full story here 

Coast Guard, Puerto Rico Police, Good Samaritan rescue 2 remaining missing fishermen north of Puerto Rico 1/16/14 San Juan, PR — Coast Guard, Puerto Rico Police and a Good Samaritan vessel combined efforts to rescue two fishermen who remained missing Friday morning, after their vessel, with four fishermen onboard, capsized in waters north of Vega Baja, Puerto Rico Thursday afternoon.  Rescued Friday morning were local area fishermen Anibal Jimenez and Jahel Maisonet, while Alan Ramos and Michael Rosario were rescued Thursday night after swimming for hours before they were able to communicate their distress by launching multiple flares from the water.  "We often fly searches in response to flare sightings with no results," said Lt. Bruce Kimmel, Air Station Borinquen MH-65 Dolphin helicopter aircraft commander. "In this case, the distress was real and four people were in fact missing. I'm proud of the team effort between all those involved whose professionalism enabled us to find all four men alive."  The four fishermen reportedly departed on a fishing trip Thursday morning from Cerro Gordo Beach in Vega Baja when their vessel capsized at approximately 12p.m. All four men were reportedly wearing lifejackets when they went into the water.  Coast Guard Watchstanders in Sector San Juan received a report Thursday night from Ricardo Román, a citizen in the area who reported seeing from shore a red flare out at sea.  Coast Guard Watchstanders immediately launched a Coast Guard MH-65 Dolphin helicopter from Air Station Borinquen in Aguadilla, Puerto Rico to search for a possible vessel in distress, and they alerted a Puerto Rico Police Joint Forces of Rapid Action marine unit in the area that also responded.  Upon arriving on scene, the crew of the Coast Guard helicopter located the first fisherman after initially sighting a beam of light from a flashlight that was coming from the water. Shortly thereafter the Coast Guard helicopter crew located a second fisherman two nautical miles south from the first fisherman’s position. The crew of the Coast Guard helicopter vectored in the Puerto Rico Police marine unit who safely recovered both fisherman from the water.  During a first light search Friday morning, Puerto Rico Police rescue crews reported hearing sounds coming from the water in the area of Cerro Gordo Beach. A Coast Guard helicopter was vectored-in to the location and located the two fishermen who remained missing in close proximity to each other. The crew of the Coast Guard helicopter deployed their rescue swimmer and hoisted one of the fishermen onboard, while a Good Samaritan vessel in the area was able to recover the other fisherman from the water.  The three fishermen that were recovered from the water by surface vessels were transferred to Emergency Medical Services personnel in Cerro Gordo, while the fisherman who was rescued by the crew of the Coast Guard Cutter helicopter was transported to the Isla Grande Airport in San Juan and transferred there to awaiting Emergency Medical Services personnel. Read full story here. 

Multiagency search locates missing fisherman adrift, out of gas 1/16/14 Honolulu, HI– A fisherman is safe ashore after his vessel ran out of gas and he spent the night adrift off the coast of Kailua-Kona, Hawaii, Wednesday.   At 6:11 p.m. Wednesday, watchstanders at the Coast Guard Sector Honolulu Command Center received a report from Hawaii Fire Department that a man was overdue from a fishing trip.  The fisherman was last seen Wednesday afternoon on his 17-foot fishing boat approximately 40 miles west of Kailua-Kona near a NOAA data buoy.   Watchstanders created a probable search area based on the limited available information and launched an HC-130 Hercules airplane crew from Air Station Barbers Point at 10:20 p.m. The Coast Guard Cutter Kittiwake, an 87-foot patrol boat, was also dispatched from its home-port in Honolulu.  The Hercules crew dropped two self-locating datum marker buoys to better calculate the probable drift of the vessel and to refine the search area using the search and rescue optimal planning system, a computer program which factors in numerous variables to give responders a better chance of finding someone lost at sea.  At 1:20 a.m., the Hercules airplane crew spotted a boat within the area of interest nine miles west of Kailua-Kona with an individual waving his arms to get their attention. The Hercules circled the boat until Kittiwake arrived at 4 a.m. to take the vessel in tow.   Kittiwake safely transferred the passenger and vessel to a Hawaii County Fire Department rescue boat who continued the tow to Keauhou Marina.  The fisherman was wearing a lifejacket, but was not equipped with other essential safety equipment such as a working VHF radio, flares and an Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon. Mariners should also file a float plan, which can provide critical information to first responders on where to search. Individuals should always stay with their vessel, even if capsized, as it improves their chance of being located.   The Coast Guard strongly encourages boaters to remain aware of their vessel's fuel capacity and other limitations while operating offshore of the Hawaiian Islands, especially during times of severe weather and high surf. Read full story here. 

Hunters rescued from sinking boat on Lake Lanier 1/18/14 Gainesville, GA Authorities say two duck hunters were rescued from a sinking boat on Lake Lanier after they fired guns into the air to attract help.  The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports the boat began taking on water Friday evening on the southern part of the lake. Hall County Fire Chief David Kimbrell says a nearby resident heard gunfire from the men and called 911 before rescuing them in his own boat.  Kimbrell says the hunters' boat was submerged and they were in the water by the time they were rescued. Both were taken to local hospitals for treatment of hypothermia.  The names of the two hunters were not released. Read full story here.  

Coast Guard, Good Samaritan help distressed boater 1/17/14 San Diego, CA Three men were rescued Friday when their boat began taking on water about two miles off Coronado, the Coast Guard said.  A call for help was received about 11:45 a.m. for the 20-foot pleasure boat Eat & Run.  San Diego Harbor Police requested Coast Guard assistance. San Diego lifeguards also responded and a broadcast was issued to mariners about the emergency.  A good Samaritan on the pleasure boat Dooey Duck gave the boaters a dewatering pump, the Coast Guard said.  The crew of one Coast Guard boat transported the men to Shelter Island, while another Coast Guard boat towed the disabled vessel. Read full story here.   

Boat accident occurs on Lake Dora 1/17/14 Tavares, FL Two people were involved in a boat accident on Lake Dora near Wooton Park in Tavares on Friday between 5 and 5:30 p.m., according to Bill Neron, the director of economic development and grants for the city of Tavares, and Bill John, the president of the Classic Race Boat Association.  Neron said he arrived at the location around 5:10 p.m. “I got here right around ten after five I think and they were coming. I think they had just picked them up off the water,” Neron said.  John said the day’s events for the Tavares Winter Thunder Regatta were over at the time of the incident and that he had left around 5 p.m. and got a phone call at 5:30 p.m.  “The event was over for the day, gates were closed, no boats were authorized to go out at all,” John said. “It was a civilian boat ride. It was not part of the event.”  He did confirm that the boat involved was a member of the event itself, even though it was not authorized as part of the event to go out.  The name “Kathy Shuler” was painted on the boat as the owner and driver, but her involvement in the incident could not be confirmed.  Neron said the event’s rescue boat was on the water setting buoys at the time of the incident, but the event’s course itself was closed.  “The CRA event, the course was closed. The rescue boat was out setting out buoys for tomorrow and these other gentleman were out on the course without authorization,” Neron said.  Neron said he was told by Tavares police that both people were transported to Waterman Hospital and were then transported by helicopter to Orlando Regional Medical Center. Read full story here.  

Body of Anchorage man recovered from Seward harbor 1/20/14 Anchorage, AK The body of a 51-year-old Anchorage man has been recovered from the Seward small boat harbor, and a search for his companion continues.  The body of Patrick Richard was found Saturday morning after divers were alerted that a man's body was floating in the harbor.  Police Chief Tom Clemons says Richard's body was found completely submerged in the water near a boat he was staying on.  Richard and the unidentified companion were visiting Seward, and were reported overdue for a charter bus back to Anchorage Saturday morning. Police were alerted by a friend who went to the boat searching for Richard and found the body.  Clemons says it's not clear whether drugs, alcohol or foul play were factors in Richard's death. Read full story here. 

Body of missing Panola Co. man found 1/20/14 Panola County, TX The search for a missing Panola County man has ended tragically, with the discovery of the man's body.  The search for the 83-year-old man began after his wife called 911 to report that he had been fishing in their private pond earlier in the day, but when he didn't show up when expected, she went to the pond looking for him. According to Panola County Sheriff Kevin Lake, she went to the looking for him and found his truck parked and his boat floating unoccupied in the pond.  Panola Co. sheriff's deputies and agents with the Texas Dept. of Fish & Wildlife  began a search for the man in the area of the 5-acre pond along CR 121 south of Carthage, off of FM 10.  In addition to deputies and the game warden, DPS troopers, the constable and Carthage and Gary fire departments and EMS all responded to assist in the search.  His body was found in the water at approximately 3:48 p.m.   His name has not been released. His body has been sent to the Southwest forensic crime lab in Dallas for autopsy. Read full story here.  

Duck hunters rescued from sinking boat in south NJ 1/18/14 Little Egg Harbor Township, NJ  Three duck hunters from Pennsylvania had to be rescued when their 18-foot boat started taking on water off the southern New Jersey coast.  State police tell the Asbury Park Press that authorities were notified about the incident in the Little Egg Harbor inlet around 9:50 a.m. Saturday. They were told the hunters had moved from their boat into a smaller boat, but the second boat soon began taking on water as well.  Officers with the state police's marine services bureau responded and found the men, Timothy Moffett of Barto, Jeremy Moffett of Bechtelsville and Ryan Watts of Hershey, and their chocolate Labrador dog floating on debris from their boat.  All three men and the dog were soon brought back to shore, and no injuries were reported. Read full story here.  

Investigators rule boat fire accidental 1/19/14 Wilmington, NC Investigators determined a boat fire that happened Sunday morning was an accidental fire and electrical in nature.  WFD responded to the fire Sunday morning aboard a 56-foot boat docked in the Intracoastal Waterway near the Fish House Grill on Airlie Rd.  Flames were shooting from the boat when fire crews arrived just after 9 a.m. A motorist called 911 after spotting the blaze, fire officials said.  No one was aboard the boat at the time of the fire and no surrounding vessels were damaged.  Terry Wells said he purchased the Buddy Cannady boat named "Rameseas" in July. The boat has been docked since a fishing trip in October, he added.  Wells said the fire looked bad, but didn't cause any structural damage.  "We'll fix it and go fishing again," he said. Wells, who believes the fire started because of an electrical problem, said the situation could have been much worse.  "I've seen boat fires in marinas and they can go from one boat to the other and they're hard to get to for the fire department."  The yacht was valued at approximately $400,000 with damages estimated at $150,000. Read full story here. 

Free diver near Palm Beach hit by boater who left, officials say 1/20/14 Palm Beach, FL A free diver is recovering from surgery after apparently being hit by a boat off the coast of Palm Beach near the Breakers and state officials are looking into the matter. Florida Fish and Wildlife investigators say that diver Jorge Caba is out of surgery. He suffered a gash on his leg and a broken pelvis, according to WPTV Channel 5.  Officials said that Caba had a dive flag and didn’t do anything wrong. They say he was run over by a boater who then took off.  “They were completely in the right. They were anchored. They had their dive flag and their divers that were in the water were marked with buoys,” FWC Officer Amanda Phillips told Channel 5.  FWC officers said if the boater is caught, he or she could face changes of hit-and-run and not rendering aid. Read full story here.   

Search continues for missing boater in Georgetown 1/15/14 Georgetown County, SC The Georgetown County Sheriff's Office continues to actively search Winyah Bay and the surrounding areas for the missing boater, Keith Sullivan, who was reported missing on Wednesday, January 15, 2014. The Georgetown County Sheriff's Office has utilized marine patrol units and vessels, side scan sonar, and personnel in the search for Mr. Sullivan. On January 17, 2014 articles of clothing, similar to those described as being worn by Keith Sullivan, were found on Goat Island at the mouth of the Sampit River. On Friday, January 17, 2014, the Department of Natural Resources joined the search in an attempt to locate Mr. Sullivan. Goat Island is being searched by boat and aircraft with the intentions of locating Mr. Sullivan.Read full story here.

Stuck kayakers pulled from Kalamazoo River by Galesburg-Charleston rescue crews 1/19/14 Galesburg, MI A group of kayakers were freed from the Kalamazoo River Sunday afternoon after becoming trapped by ice.  According to Galesburg-Charleston Fire Chief Kevin Roomsburg, 11 kayakers were stuck by ice in the Kalamazoo River near Fort Custer around 2 p.m. after entering open water further upstream. The kayakers became trapped when currents pushed them toward a portion of the river that was iced over, Roomsburg said. Roomsburg said Galesburg-Charleston rescue crews were able to free the stuck adventurers shortly after arriving on scene. None of the kayakers suffered any injuries that Roomsburg is aware of. Read full story here. 

Kayaker, dog rescued in separate incidents 1/19/14 De Soto, MO De Soto Rural Fire rescued a man from Big River who was kayaking. Luckily he wasn't alone when the incident occurred. The river level was up five feet and flowing faster than normal. It is unknown what caused the kayak to overturn. Read full story here. 

Coast Guard medically evacuates 2 unconscious people from a fishing vessel in Rio Visto 1/20/14 Alameda, CA The Coast Guard medically evacuated a husband and wife two miles south of Rio Vista, Calif. at approximately 10 a.m., Monday. At approximately 9:47 a.m. Monday, watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector San Francisco received a report from the owner of a 27-foot fishing vessel, that his 51-year-old wife was losing consciousness and required assistance.  A Coast Guard Rio Vista 25-Foot Defender Class boat crew launched and arrived on scene at 10:09 a.m. The boat crew found both the husband and wife unconscious on the fishing vessel.  The Coast Guard crew safety anchored the fishing vessel and transferred the victims to Station Rio Vista where awaiting emergency medical personnel were standing by.  The victims were treated for possible carbon monoxide poisoning. After receiving oxygen, both victims regained consciousness. A Sacramento police department hazardous material team has been notified to investigate the couple's boat. Read full story here. 

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