PHILADELPHIA — A Coast Guard aircrew rescued three people from the water Saturday after a vessel capsized in Great Bay, in Little Egg Harbor Township, New Jersey.
The operator aboard an 18-foot disabled vessel used a VHF-FM radio to contact Coast Guard Sector Delaware Bay watchstanders Saturday afternoon requesting assistance getting to shore. The operator reported he had three people aboard his vessel and was anchored less than a mile from Great Bay Marina.
Shortly after the initial radio call, the operator sent a second radio hail to the Coast Guard relaying that his boat was going down due to inclement weather.
Coast Guard Sector Delaware Bay search and rescue coordinators initiated a distress phase, rerouting an already-airborn MH-65 Dolphin helicopter crew from routine training.
A commercial salvage team, from TowBoatUS, also heard the radio hail and deployed to the scene. Once on-scene, the commercial salvage team established communications with Sector Delaware Bay, reporting that the vessel had capsized and its three occupants were in the water clinging to the overturned hull.
Weather and shallow water conditions prevented the commercial salvage team from assisting, however, they remained on-scene to maintain radio communications with the Coast Guard and monitor the situation.
When the Coast Guard helicopter crew arrived on the scene a rescue swimmer deployed into the water and worked with the helicopter crew to hoist all three mariners to safety.
"With the help of an exceptional crew, we were able to efficiently and effectively execute the Coast Guard's mission of safeguarding lives at sea," said Lt. Christopher Sullivan, the pilot in command. "Thank you to my aircrew - Petty Officer Hugo Alonso, Petty Officer Peyton Murray, and Lt. Jack Walsh for an excellent performance. We are all thankful that the three survivors are safe at home today."
The commercial salvage team provided Coast Guard Sector Delaware Bay watchstanders updates throughout the rescue, allowing the helicopter to operate without verbal transmissions.
The survivors were transported to Coast Guard Air Station Atlantic City, where their care was transferred to awaiting emergency medical services personnel.
No injuries were reported.