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Flare fired in cruiser passengers rescue

US Coast Guard boat

A flare was fired in the rescue of two elderly passengers from a grounded pleasure cruiser in Alaska, USA.

The two male passengers were saved by a Coast Guard Station Valdez Response Boat-Medium boat crew and those aboard other nearby vessels.

Their 21-foot pleasure cruiser Gaillea ran aground around six miles off Busby Island, in Prince William Sound.

One man was reported to have injuries, and the other man was said to be in good condition.

Coast Guard Sector Anchorage command center watchstanders initially received a mayday broadcast via VHF-FM Channel 16 from a 69-year-old man aboard the Gaillea reporting that the vessel had run aground.

In response to a flare, several good Samaritan vessels responded to assist. The fishing vessel Fierce Leader crew arrived on scene, recovered the man aboard the Gaillea, and established a tow.

Watchstanders directed the launch of a Station Valdez RB-M boat crew and requested a Coast Guard Air Station Kodiak MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter aircrew, deployed to Coast Guard Forward Operating Location Cordova, to respond.

The Jayhawk aircrew stood by to assist while the good Samaritan vessel Mary J crew used a skiff to recover the man from the shoreline.

The Station Valdez boat crew arrived on scene with emergency medical services personnel aboard to evaluate the 75-year-old man for further transport to Valdez for medical care.

Petty Officer 3rd Class Joseph Echols, a Station Valdez machinery technician, says, “Being able to assist and respond with immediacy is key. The coordination between the Coast Guard and the good Samaritan vessels to rescue these people is a tribute to the working relationship we’ve built within the Alaskan communities to let them know we are here to assist at a moment’s notice.”

Sep 13, 2018