Correction: The previous release stated the boaters' truck and trailer were left unattended at the Lake Mars Pier. The truck and trailer were left unattended at the Pass Christian Harbor.
Editor's Note: Click on image to download high-resolution version.
NEW ORLEANS — The Coast Guard, along with partner agencies, rescued four overdue boaters, two adults and two children, in the Gulfport Shipping Channel near Gulfport, Mississippi, Tuesday.
At 12:10 p.m., the crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Tiger Shark located a disabled 19-foot Mako skiff with the four missing boaters aboard wearing life jackets. A Mississippi Department of Marine Resources boatcrew and a Coast Guard Station Gulfport 24-foot Special Purpose Craft-Shallow Water boatcrew arrived on scene shortly after.
The DMR boatcrew received the boaters and transferred them to the Port of Gulfport in Gulfport while the Station Gulfport boatcrew towed the disabled vessel back to the station.
The boaters were last reported to be in stable condition.
"Thanks to the coordination between our units and partner agencies, we were able to locate the four missing boaters and bring them back home to their friends and family," said Ensign Moriya French, a command duty officer at Coast Guard Sector Mobile. "This incident serves as a reminder to the boating public to always have proper VHF-FM radio communication equipment, an EPIRB, SPOT GPS, and other geolocating devices onboard your vessel before going out to sea."
Coast Guard Sector Mobile watchstanders received the initial call at 4:27 a.m. from a concerned family friend stating two adults and two children aboard a 19-foot red and white Mako skiff did not come home after their expected return time of 8 p.m Monday.
After confirming the boaters' truck and trailer were left unattended at the Pass Christian Harbor, watchstanders coordinated the launch of a Station Gulfport boatcrew, two Coast Guard Station Pascagoula boatcrews, the crew of the Tiger Shark, and a Coast Guard Aviation Training Center Mobile HC-144 Ocean Sentry aircrew to search.
Rescue crews involved in the search were:
- Coast Guard Aviation Training Center Mobile
- Coast Guard Station Gulfport
- Coast Guard Station Pascagoula
- Coast Guard Cutter Tiger Shark
- Mississippi Department of Marine Resources
- National Park Service
- Jackson County Sheriff's Department
For more information follow us on Facebook and Twitter.