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Sunday, June 16, 2024
HomeNewsLocal newsCoast Guard Rescues STT Kayaker

Coast Guard Rescues STT Kayaker

A 33-foot Special Purpose Craft-Law Enforcement boat from Coast Guard Station South Padre Island speeds through the Gulf of Mexico during a training exercise. (U.S. Coast Guard photo)
Crew members of Boat Forces 33 Special Purpose Craft-Law Enforcement pull a stranded kayaker out of the waters west of Perseverance Bay. (U.S. Coast Guard photo)

The crew of a U.S. Coast Guard Special Purpose Craft-Law Enforcement rescued a kayaker in distress west of Perseverance Bay in St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands on Sunday evening.

In a news release issued Monday afternoon, the U.S. Coast Guard reported that watchstanders in Sector San Juan received a call from a St. Thomas 911 emergency service operator at 5:30 p.m. Sunday, reporting a call from the kayaker who relayed he had suffered a pulled shoulder and could not make it back to shore.

With sunset approaching, the Boat Forces 33 Special Purpose Craft-Law Enforcement crew responded and searched the area, spotting the kayaker shortly after arrival, stranded on the rocky shore of Perseverance Bay.

The boat crew utilized a rescue line to help the kayaker to the boat and safely recover him from the water. The kayaker was transported to the pier at the University of the Virgin Islands, where he was received by awaiting emergency medical service personnel.

“Thanks to the swift response and highly skilled crew we were able to achieve the best-case scenario for the situation,” said Petty Officer 2nd Class Eduardo Sanchez, who served as the boat coxswain for the case. “Arriving on scene before sunset was key to us being able to spot and rescue him.”

Sanchez further relayed that the case was really rewarding since it was also the first rescue case for two of the crew.

“We are constantly training to remain proficient and be at our best when the call comes in, being able to rely on your training to help save a life is what it’s all about and makes all the hard work worthwhile,” Sanchez said.

Sanchez additionally mentioned that the kayaker was able to call in the distress using his cellphone, but the device was close to losing its signal.

According to the Coast Guard statement, it’s important for boaters to have some type of VHF marine communications device as a primary means of communication, to always use a life jacket and prepare a float plan that will be shared with a responsible person who can call for help and provide the details of a voyage in case of an overdue situation.

The crew of a 33 SPC-LE rescue a kayaker in distress west of Perseverance Bay in St. Thomas. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Andrew Koelle)
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