Coast Guard Club Newsletter

 

January 25

 

WHO RECEIVES THIS NEWSLETTER? Members who have an upcoming birthday, each potential Coast Guard Club recruit, & any Coastie I write to. This Newsletter is posted on the Web at WWW.USCGRADIO.NET, WWW.JACKSJOINT.COM & at WWW.FREDSPLACE.ORG. If you can receive e-mail files & would like a copy of this Newsletter each month, please contact me at DGardner@northstate.net.

JOINING THE COAST GUARD CLUB on the WEB. Go to WWW.USCGRADIO.NET. Current members may update their mailing address, call sign change, & any other information about their CG service, station equipment or email address by clicking on the Membership Form linkit is not necessary to fill in the entire form, just the changes.

COAST GUARD CLUB CALL BOOK is bound in a 1 spiral binder & will include a Certificate of Membership in the COAST GUARD CLUB suitable for framing. If you want a copy, send a cheque for $15., which includes postage, payable to Don Gardner.

Search & Rescue SitReps

JACKSONVILLE CG Marine Safety Office Jacksonville proposes to establish a series of temporary regulated navigation areas, security zones & temporary anchorage areas on the St Johns River from Winter Point to St Johns Bluff Reach, for Super Bowl XXXIX activities & events. The river will be divided into 2 regulated navigation areas & 4 security zones in order to provide increased layered security in close proximity to the downtown area of the river. Additionally, the size of existing fixed security zones around docked cruise ships. Existing anchorage grounds will be modified & temporary anchorages will be added to accommodate the increased vessel traffic expected during the Super Bowl events. These areas will be enforced at various designated time periods. Entry into the security zones will be prohibited to all persons & vessels unless authorised by the Captain of the Port of Jacksonville.

MIAMI Friday night the crew of CGC VIGOROUS, out of Cape May, NJ, rescued 6 people off the sinking motor vessel Union in the Windward Passage. VIGOROUS stopped the Union, which was operating without any lights, to determine the country of the vessel & the reason for its voyage. Shortly after the initial communications, the master of the Haitian motor vessel Union radioed that his engines had just stopped & he was unable to restart them in the rough seas. A rescue & assistance team from VIGOROUS went on board Union, at the request of the master, to determine the problem & see if temporary repairs could be made. The team discovered a poorly maintained vessel with about a foot of water in the engine room. The crew decided to tow the vessel until weather improved & daylight repairs could be conducted. The 6-member crew of the vessel remained with their boat & VIGOROUS made a course for Port Au Prince, Haiti, with Union in tow. Union later began flooding rapidly in multiple spaces & was in danger of capsizing. A rescue boat & crew from VIGOROUS was deployed, & the 6 crewmembers of the Union were safely transferred off the sinking boat. Union capsized & sank stern first just after it was cut from being towed. VIGOROUS returned the 6 survivors to Haiti. Back in October, CGC TAMPA, out of Portsmouth, VA, rescued 2 Haitians in the Windward Pass when from their sail freighter became disabled in heavy weather.

KEY WEST CG rescue units responded to a boat fire aboard Miss Dottie,a 72-ft fishing vessel, about 22 miles ESE of Marathon, FL. CG Sector Key West received an EPIRB (Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon) alert & shortly after the alert a merchant vessel in the area reported seeing a boat on fire. An HU-25 Falcon aircraft & HH-65 Dolphin helo were launched from CGAS Miami. CGC DRUMMOND, from Key West, was diverted to the scene, & a rescue boat from Station Marathon was launched. The aircraft was on scene & located the vessel on fire. The helo was overhead & located 2 people in the water wearing life jackets. A rescue swimmer was deployed from the helo & located 1 survivor. He was hoisted into the helo & transported to Fisherman's Hospital in Marathon. DRUMMOND recovered the 2d person in the water but was unable to get a pulse. The cause of the fire is under investigation.

SAN JUAN The search for survivors of the latest yola capsizing was suspended after helo crews from CGAS Borinquen with rescue swimmers suspended from their hoists, performed 35 precision rescues during a 4-1/2 hour period. A yola believed to be carrying 91 migrants from the Dominican Republic was swamped in the surf near Dorado forcing everyone aboard into the surf near the rocky coast. The yola had been sighted by Puerto Rico Police Departments FURA unit earlier in the morning & was later spotted by a CG HU-25 Falcon jet during the ill-fated approach to shore. The crew of the Falcon successfully deployed a raft near the mass of people in the water around the swamped yola greatly increasing their chances of survival. Shortly thereafter, CGC CHINCOTEAGUE, 3 small boats from Station San Juan, 3 HH-65 Dolphin helos from CGAS Borinquen, 1 Blackhawk helo from Customs & Border Protection joined by FURA small boats & personal watercraft began rescuing those within reach. Shoreside support came en masse from Customs & Border Protection agents who had been in pursuit of the yola since the initial reports. Also, agents from ICE worked with FURA agents & local emergency service personnel to help & account for all of the migrants while building a case for possible prosecution. Total number of migrants rescued was 83 (49 male & 34 females). Unfortunately 8 migrants lost their lives (2 male & 6 female) during the illegal attempt. Saving lives was everyone's primary focus & after we had done our best at that, our focus turned to assisting ICE in building a solid case for the US Attorney's Office to prosecute the alleged smugglers, said CAPT Douglas Rudolph, Commander, Sector San Juan.

ATLANTIC BEACH, NC 2 people were rescued by Pedro, the Marine Corps air rescue helo based at MCAS Cherry Point, after it was despatched by the CG to assist in the rescue of people from a sinking sailboat SE of Cape Lookout. The CG received a Mayday radio call from the sailing vessel Voyager that it was in distress & taking on water. The CG immediately launched a 47-ft motor lifeboat from Station Fort Macon & called Pedro to check its availability. CG SAR protocols require attempting to launch an air asset anytime in a distress case where the possibility exists that people may end up in the water. Pedro arrived on scene first & hoisted the survivors aboard the helo. The Fort Macon motor lifeboat plucked the survivors' pets & personal effects from the water. The helo took the survivors to Station Fort Macon where they were met by emergency medical services from Atlantic Beach. The CG credits the survivors with having the right equipment onboard to help with their own survival & rescue.

MIAMI The 3 fishermen missing since Christmas day from a recreational fishing trip have been located by CG crews who have been searching from Homestead to northern Palm Beach County. A C-13 from CGAS Clearwater located a vessel matching the description of the missing boat approx 17 miles off the coast E of Lake Worth Inlet with 3 people on board waving their arms. The CG notified the nearby USS Boone who safely picked up the men & confirmed they were the missing trio. The 3 men left Bayfront marina & called the CG from a cellular phone claiming their boat was disabled & they did not know their position, but could see the Miami skyline. Shortly after that, cellular communications were lost. The call initiated a massive search coordinated by CG Sector Miami that included numerous sorties by boats, cutters & aircraft. Contributing to the difficulty of this search was the lack of a working VHF-FM radio to allow better comms between the individuals in distress & potential rescuers. Cellular phones should only be considered a secondary means of distress communication for boaters.

HONOLULU The 34-yo Coast Guard member who died in a recreational diving accident has been identified as PO 1st Class Mark Mueller. Mueller was stationed aboard the CG icebreaker POLAR STAR, based in Seattle. According to the CG, Mueller was diving with friends at a Navy ship wreckage off Maili Point on the Waianae Coast. Witnesses told the CG that Mueller became unconscious while he was below the surface. The master of the diving boat, The Beach, called the CG to report a diver in distress about 1-1/2 miles from the Waianae Boat Harbour. Mueller was transported to Waianae Coast Comprehensive Health Centre, where he was pronounced dead. Mueller, who joined the CG in 1995, served as an informational technology specialist & as POLAR STAR's information manager. POLAR STAR left Seattle for Antarctica during the 1st week of the month. The ship arrived in Honolulu for a brief stop to make minor repairs & for crewmembers to rest before they continued on their journey. Mueller is survived by his wife & stepson. Arrangements for his funeral, to be held in his hometown of Chicago, are pending.

PORTSMOUTH A CG crew rescued 3 people after their 26-ft sloop lost its rudder in 6 to 8 ft seas 3 miles off Duck, NC. Controllers at CG Group Cape Hatteras received a distress call over VHF radio reporting the loss of the rudder. A 47-ft rescue boat from Station Oregon Inlet took the sailboat, Sly Fox, in tow. Due to increasingly rough seas, the tow was slow-going. 8-ft breakers at the entrance to Oregon Inlet made it too dangerous to tow the vessel through. The CG crew anchored the sloop about 1 mile E of the Oregon Inlet sea buoy. Another CG rescue boat arrived & the crew took the people off the Sly Fox, one-by-one, on the sloop's dinghy. The 3 boaters & CG crews returned to the station. No injuries were reported.

S PADRE ISLAND, TX 3 Mexican fishermen were apprehended by crewmembers from CG Station S Padre Island for illegally fishing in US waters N of the US-Mexico border. During a routine patrol the crew of a CG Falcon Jet from CGAS Corpus Christi spotted 5 lancha boats fishing illegally in the US exclusive economic zone. CG Station S Padre Island despatched 2 boat crews to intercept the lanchas. 4 of the lanchas fled into Mexican waters, but 1 lancha with a crew of 3 was caught with its nets in the water N of the border. On board it had 28 sharks.

REUNIONS

CGC CASCO Any former crewmembers who would like to be placed on a mailing list of shipmates & activities that includes a reunion every several years, contact: Gordon C Kelly, P O BOX 141, Lyon, WI 53148.

MEMBERSHIP There are 632 current members in the COAST GUARD CLUB; January 22, 54; January 23, 529; January 24, 538.   DE AD4PT 73 & Semper Paratus.