US Coast Guard Rescues 3 Boaters Left Stranded, Fending Off Sharks After Fishing Trip Went Wrong

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Three boaters were rescued by the U.S. Coast Guard about 25 miles offshore from Empire, Louisiana, on Sunday after a fishing trip went drastically wrong.

The U.S. Coast Guard 8th District Heartland said in a press release that the three individuals were discovered after they failed to return from a fishing trip on Saturday, prompting a family member to contact Coast Guard Sector New Orleans and inform them they were missing.

The boaters found themselves in a dangerous situation after their 24-foot center console boat sank at around 10 a.m. on Saturday morning, leaving them stranded and without communication devices.

When they were eventually discovered, two of the three individuals were fending off sharks and had injuries to their hands, officials said.

After being informed by the relative of the three individuals, the Coast Guard launched a coordinated response, sending both air and boat crews out to search an area spanning approximately 1,250 square miles.

Coast Guard Cutter Jacob Paroo crew, Coast Guard Station Venice boatcrew, a Coast Guard Air Station Corpus Christi HC-144 Ocean Sentry aircrew, and a Coast Guard Aviation Training Center Mobile HC-144 Ocean Sentry aircrew were also involved in the search and rescue effort.

‘Could Have Been Completely Different Outcome’

During the search, a Coast Guard Air Station Corpus Christi HC-144 Ocean Sentry aircrew tracked down the three individuals in the water and pulled two of them out of the sea via a 45-foot Response Boat. They were transferred to the Jayhawk helicopter before being taken to University Medical Center New Orleans for treatment. Both are in stable condition, officials said.

The third individual was hoisted to safety by a Coast Guard Air Station New Orleans MH-60 Jayhawk aircrew, the Coast Guard said.

All three individuals were wearing lifejackets when they were rescued and were experiencing severe hyperthermia, dehydration, and fatigue after being in the water for over 28 hours, Coast Guard Air Station Corpus Christi said in a separate statement.

The statement added that a family member had also received a phone call from one of the survivors floating in the water prior to the search.

“We searched an area roughly the size of Rhode Island and are thankful to have found these missing boaters,” said Lt. Cmdr. Kevin Keefe, a Sector New Orleans Search and Rescue Mission Coordinator.

“If the family member had not notified the Coast Guard, and if these three boaters were not wearing life jackets, this could’ve been a completely different outcome. We appreciate the assistance of the boating public, who were instrumental in helping identify possible areas where these boaters could have been operating before the vessel became in distress.”

Katabella Roberts


Katabella Roberts is a news writer for The Epoch Times, focusing primarily on the United States, world, and business news.

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