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Sun, May 28, 2023

USCG Rescues Three Off South Carolina Coast

39-Foot Vessel Capsizes and Sinks

On 26 May 2023, a U.S. Coast Guard Air Station Savannah, Georgia aircrew rescued three people in the wake of a maritime accident that saw the 39-foot vessel upon which the trio was faring capsize near South Carolina’s Kiawah Island—a barrier island some 15-nautical-miles southwest Charleston.

The Coast Guard Air Station Savannah aircrew hoisted the three individuals aboard their helicopter and transported them to a Kiawah Island Beach Patrol. No injuries were reported.

At 10:00 EDT, a crewmember aboard the imperiled vessel notified Coast Guard Sector Charleston watchstanders via cellphone that the craft was taking on water.

Sector Charleston watchstanders dispatched the Coast Guard Air Station Savannah aircrew to the coordinates of the stricken vessel and issued an urgent marine information broadcast to all mariners in the area requesting any vessels so able to assist with the rescue effort.

Coast Guard Air Station Savannah mission commander Lieutenant Commander Sam Ingham stated: "Although the crew of this motor vessel was having a bad day, their promptness in putting on their safety gear gave us a chance to get to them in time. When I saw that they all had life jackets on, I felt immediate relief, and it gave us more flexibility to pick them up safely and quickly."

Sector Charleston watchstanders subsequently issued a safety marine information broadcast on VHF-FM Channel 16 to notify mariners of the sunken vessel.

Created by Congress as the Revenue-Marine on 04 August 1790, the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) is the oldest continuously operating naval service of the United States. The Semper Paratus (Always Ready) motto to which the Coast Guard aspires speaks to the outfit’s ethos and the nature of its humanitarian and security missions.

Stated simply, the Coast Guard protects the United States' borders and defends her sovereignty by safeguarding sea lines of communication and commerce across 95,000-miles of U.S. coastline and the entirety of the U.S. Exclusive Economic Zone. This critical work is carried out by 44,500 active-duty personnel, 7,000 reservists, and 8,577 full-time civilian employees.

The USCG’s fleet of roughly 250 coastal and ocean-going cutters, patrol ships, buoy tenders, tugs, and icebreakers; as well as nearly two-thousand small boats and specialized craft constitutes the world’s 12th largest naval force. The service’s aviation division comprises north of two-hundred helicopters and fixed-wing aircraft the likes of the AC-37A (Gulfstream V), HC-144A (Airbus CN-235), and Lockheed’s mighty HC-130 Hercules utility turboprop transport. To supplement the aforementioned and better support its homeland security and search & rescue operations, the Coast Guard is building an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) program around General Atomics’ MQ-9 Reaper platform.

In its humanitarian capacity, the U.S. Coast Guard saves tens-of-thousands of lives every year and provides emergency response and disaster management for all manner of man-made emergencies, meteorological exigencies, and outright natural disasters.

FMI: www.uscg.mil

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