An Auxiliary Aircraft
on routine patrol spotted a sail in the waters off Sherman's Island
State Wild Area, Friday.
After the Pilot, Auxiliarist Dan Lavi dropped 500' in altitude,
was Air Observer, Auxiliarist Sue Fry able to discern that the Sail
was without a person. Upon closer scrutiny the AuxAir Crew
determined that it was a Sail Kite, and the Surfer was no longer
able to control the craft. High Winds was causing the Surfer to be
dragged through the water.
The AuxAir Crew notified Coast Guard Group San Francisco, which
was involved in several other missions. The Crew then contacted
Station Rio Vista, but their closest asset was 45 minutes away.
Given this information, the Crew explained to Station Rio Vista
their concerns and an urgent message (PAN PAN) was issued to all
boaters in the vicinity. Two vessels responded to the Coast Guard's
call for assistance.
The Auxiliary Aircraft maintained a tight circular flight around
the surfer as both a beacon to the responding recreational
boaters/good Samaritans and as a guard for the surfer. First to
arrive was a 20' speed boat, which removed the surfer from the
water. The Auxiliary Aircraft maintained an escort for the speed
boat, that put in at the Sherman's Island launching ramp.
The surfer was unable
to leave the boat unassisted, so the speed boat was removed from
the water by trailer. Upon his removal, the Auxiliary Aircraft
radioed Group San Francisco of the successful rescue and resume
The United States Coast Guard Auxiliary is composed of
uniformed, non-military volunteer civilians who assist the Coast
Guard in all of its varied missions, except for military and direct
law enforcement. These men and women can be found on the nation's
waterways, in the air, in classrooms and on the dock, performing
Maritime Domain Awareness patrols, safety patrols, vessel safety
checks and public education.
The United States Coast Guard Auxiliary was founded in 1939 by
an Act of Congress as the U.S. Coast Guard Reserve and
re-designated as the Auxiliary in 1941. Its 30,000 members donate
millions of hours annually in support of Coast Guard missions.