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Wed, Apr 22, 2009

Coast Guard HH-65 Rescues Stranded Boater

Man Hoisted From Remote Beach On Catalina Island

A Coast Guard air crew from Air Station Los Angeles rescued a man early this morning from a remote beach on Catalina Island.

Shortly after 6:00 a.m. the District 11 Command Center located in Alameda, Calif. received a distress alert from a personal signaling device, coming from Catalina Island. Because the signal was coming from the Los Angeles area, the case was relayed to the Sector Los Angeles – Long Beach Command Center in San Pedro, Calif.

An HH-65 Dolphin helicopter was launched from Air Station Los Angeles. Once on scene, the helicopter crew spotted a man firing a flare from a beach on the south side of the Island. The man reported that his boat had caught fire last night and he had abandoned ship. He reached the shore in his dinghy where he spent the night.

The man was hoisted into the helicopter and transferred to Air Station Los Angeles, where he was met by paramedics to be treated for hypothermia.

"This really turned out to be a picture perfect scenario with respect to what to do in a survival situation," rescue swimmer Chief Albie Amescua said, "The use of the personnel locator beacon and flare, without a doubt, allowed rescuers to be notified and the survivor to be found. Without the PLB and flare, it is uncertain just how long it may have taken to locate and rescue the individual."

Although recreational boaters are not required to carry distress alerting devices, The Coast Guard advises that devices such as an Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon (EPIRB) or Personal Locator Beacons (PLBS), are strongly recommended for ALL boaters, including kayaks and other paddle craft, along with a VHF-FM marine band radio.

FMI: www.uscg.mil

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