Entries in U.S. Coast Guard (6)


Coast Guard: Missing Family Could Be Clinging to Life Ring, Cooler

ABC News(SAN FRANCISCO) -- The U.S. Coast Guard intensified its search Monday for a family of four, including two young children, who may be clinging to a life ring and a cooler off the Northern California coast after their sailboat took on water.

A distress call came into the Coast Guard Sunday afternoon that the 29-foot vessel, believed to be named Charmblow, was sinking in choppy waters.

The sailboat's failing electronics system was unable to provide the Coast Guard with clues to its exact location, which rescuers initially believed was 65 miles from Pillar Point, just south of San Francisco, Lt. Heather Lampert said.

After reviewing radio tapes and making new calculations, Lampert said the search effort Monday has been shifted slightly south to 65 miles off the coast of Monterey Bay.

The names of those on board and their destination were unknown, however the missing are believed to include a man and a woman, their 4-year-old son, and his cousin, Lampert said.

A National Weather Service advisory warning of strong winds and choppy waters in the San Francisco Bay Area had been in effect Sunday afternoon when the boat's operator first radioed the Coast Guard.

Lampert said the captain indicated at 4:20 p.m. that the sailboat was "taking on water" and the electronics system was failing.

At 5:30 p.m., the operator reported they were abandoning the sailboat, Lampert said.

After losing communication with the vessel, the Coast Guard sent an urgent broadcast to boaters in the area to be on the lookout.

Crews searched overnight by air and by sea, however they found no signs of the missing family.

"[There were] pretty rough conditions, especially without any lifesaving equipment," Lampert said.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Yacht Race Accident in California Leaves 1 Dead, 4 Missing

Hemera/Thinkstock(SAN FRANCISCO) -- One sailor is dead and four others are missing after a yacht accident during a race off the coast of San Francisco Saturday, according to the Coast Guard.

Eight people were aboard the 38-foot Low Speed Chase, competing in the 2012 Full Crew Farallones Race, when a large wave knocked four of them into the water.

The sailors still on board turned the boat around in an attempt to rescue them, and struck rocks.

Coast Guard Petty Officer Levi Read said three people were rescued, along with the body of a fourth.

“Three people were rescued, two by a Coast Guard helicopter, one by the Air National Guard and the Air National Guard recovered the deceased body,” said Read.

Two Coast Guard Vessels remain on the scene, still searching for those who are missing.

“It is critical to find them as soon as possible due to the weather and the temperature of the water,” said Read.

“Our hearts and prayers go out to the families of the people involved. We want them to know that we are doing everything we can as fast as we can,” Read added.

Read says officials are hopeful those missing will be found alive.

“The Coast Guard always remains optimistic to search for survivors,” Read said.

The Yacht Racing Association of San Francisco Bay expressed its sympathies to the family and friends of the dead crew member.

“We offer our thoughts and prayers to the family and friends of the missing crew in hopes they are returned home safely,” read a statement on the association’s website.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Coast Guard Checking Oil Slick In the Gulf of Mexico

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(NEW ORLEANS) -- The Coast Guard is investigating reports of an oil slick near wells operated by Shell Oil in the Gulf of Mexico.

Petty Officer 1st Class Jeremy McClure said Thursday that a Coast Guard helicopter has been dispatched to the scene, approximately 130 miles southeast of New Orleans, to check out what has been described as a 10-mile long, half-mile wide sheen.

In a statement, Shell said it is “confident at this time that the sheen did not originate from” its properties, and that a “thorough inspection” of its local assets found that “operations in the area are normal with no sign of leaks.”

“We have also confirmed there are no well control issues associated with our drilling operations in the area,” the statement continued.

“Shell is continuing to cooperate with federal regulators in their efforts to determine the cause and nature of the sheen,” the company said.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


US Coast Guard Reopens 15-Mile Stretch of Mississippi River

Medioimages/Photodisc/Thinkstock(NEW ORLEANS) -- The U.S. Coast Guard reopened on Tuesday a 15-mile section of the Mississippi River, north of New Orleans, that had been closed to prevent damage from flooding.

The portion was closed Sunday night "after reports of sand erosion near flood protection structures were originally thought to have been caused by vessel wakes," the Coast Guard said in a statement.  However, an underground pipe, not river traffic, now appears to be the culprit.

The Coast Guard will closely monitor any new traffic across the reopened section.  Passing will be limited to one vessel at a time, and ships must stay towards the center of the navigation channel, traveling at the slowest and safest speed possible.  Vessels will also be required to check in with the Coast Guard and get its permission before pass through the river.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Elderly Man and His Dog Rescued off Coast of Mexico

ABC News(ENSENADA, Mexico) -- A 77-year-old man and his dog are safe after being stranded several days in high seas off the Mexican coast.

The U.S. Coast Guard rescued the man and dog from a disabled sailboat about 120 miles off the coast of Ensenada in Baja California Monday.

Shortly after 1 p.m., amateur HAM radio operator Rex Weinheimer picked up a mayday call over a HAM maritime network in Stonewall,Texas, near Austin.

"I heard someone calling, but I couldn't make it all out," Weinheimer told ABC News.  "The communications were so horrible that I could not tell the mental state or anything.  The signal would come up then drop out."

After 10 minutes of disrupted communication, he determined one person was aboard the disabled vessel.  Weinheimer said he also gathered that the boat was floating at sea in rough weather with broken sails and lines.

A commercial freighter, about an hour from the sailboat at the time of the call, was the first to make an attempted rescue, but rough seas prevented the freighter from getting close enough to the sailboat.

The HAM operator notified the U.S. Coast Guard, who dispatched a MH-60 Jaywhawk helicopter and a C-130 Hercules plane.

The rescue team battled 12-15 foot swells and high winds to reach the boater.

A Coast Guard swimmer eventually evacuated the man and his dog from the boat.  Both remained "calm considering being hoisted up in a helicopter at hurricane force wind," according to U.S. Coast Guard Petty Officer Henry Dunphy.  "The dog sat on the man's lap the whole flight back to San Diego."

Dunphy told ABC News the man, who wasn't identified, had no recollection of how many days he had been at sea.  The boat had set sail from Ventura, California.  Because he lacked food and supplies, the man and dog apparently had been at sea for several days, possibly headed to Tahiti, according to the rescue crew.

He was taken to a San Diego hospital for a medical examination.  Dunphy says both the man and his dog were fine.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Hundred-Mile Long Oil Sheen Reported in the Gulf

U.S. Coast Guard via Getty Images (file)(NEW ORLEANS) -- The U.S. Coast Guard tells ABC News it is gathering samples of an unknown substance in the Gulf of Mexico off the coast of Louisiana.

The New Orleans Times-Picayune is reporting that the National Response Center received at least two calls this weekend, one that described a half-mile long sheen along the water’s surface and another that reported a sheen nearly 100 miles in length.

“No [oil] sheen was seen,” Coast Guard spokeswoman Casey Ranel told ABC News on Sunday. “There was a substance seen in the water but there was no sheen.”

Ranel says the samples collected could be anything, from algae to silt.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

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