A snorkeler stranded on the rocks off the Hams Bluff Lighthouse on St. Croix was rescued Tuesday afternoon by a Coast Guard boat crew, suffering only some scrapes in the ordeal, the agency reported Wednesday.
The man reportedly was separated from his snorkeling group, who reported him missing, it said. The Coast Guard said their quick action was key to his successful rescue.
“The dive buddies quickly calling for assistance led to a fast response and rescue of a missing snorkeler by the Coast Guard crew,” said Petty Officer 2nd Class Kyle Hooten, boatswain mate and coxswain for the case. “Staying close to your dive buddies, having a good plan, and knowing when to call for help is crucial when on the water, don’t wait until it’s too late to call for help.”
Coast Guard Boat Forces Detachment St. Croix was contacted by a Coast Guard auxiliarist who relayed a call from a U.S. Virgin Islands 911 Emergency operator reporting the missing snorkeler.
Coast Guard watch standers in Sector San Juan issued an “Urgent Marine Information Broadcast” to notify nearby mariners of the ongoing distress, while a Coast Guard 33-foot vessel from the St. Croix detachment responded to the scene, according to the press release.
The Coast Guard boat crew located the man stranded on the rocks and delivered a rescue line before safely recovering him from the water. The man sustained minor scrapes from climbing on the rocks and required no medical attention, the agency said.
The man was transported to the pier in Frederiksted Harbor where he rejoined his group, it said.