It was a busy weekend for the United States Coast Guard (USCG), one that included three maritime rescue efforts, two of which were aided by the practices of good samaritans.
On Friday, the USCG and Joint Rescue Coordination Center Honolulu (JRCC) responded to a distress signal received via email from disabled Australiian sailing vessel Q-Wave; located 287 miles northwest of Hilo, Hawaii. USCG aircrew flying an HC-130 Hercules was able to drop supplies to the boat, which had no food and less than a liter of water aboard. It also dropped a VHF radio used for emergency communication, from which a signal was picked up by good samaritan vessel Fifth Wife. The samaritan vessel escorted Q-Wave to Hilo.
Yesterday, off the coast of Port Aransas, Texas, nine people were rescued by good samaritans after their 18ft pleasure craft had capsized. USCG launched a 45ft rescue boat that responded to calls for help and was able to transport the three children and six adults of the capsized vessel to Station Port Aransas.
Today, in a larger effort, CG helicopter and small boat crews responded to a mayday call received by the JRCC and Coast Guard Sector Honolulu (CGS) via Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon. A sailing vessel called Cowabunga had sunk very early this morning, just before 4a.m., roughly 29 miles off the coast of Oahu. Seven people were reported to be aboard when the 12:40a.m. distress call was made. Luckily, crewmebers were wearing life vests and had previous experience on water. Response vehicles included a 45ft and 47ft USCG power boats, a 110ft USCG Cutter called Galveston, an MH-65 Dolphin helicopter and another HC-130 Hercules. The response vessels came from a range of locations in order to help the stranded crew.
For more information on these, and other rescues, visit the USCG News website. And if you're heading out on the water, please be safe.