Internet InfoMedia coast guard rescues injured sailor off georgia coast

The U.S. Coast Guard rescued an injured man whose sailboat ran aground off the coast of Georgia this week.

On Wednesday afternoon, Coast Guard Sector Charleston watchstanders received a distress call from a sailor who said his sailboat was sinking near Sapelo Sound, Georgia, according to a news release. 

The man radioed that his 36-foot vessel, the Quicksilver, had run aground and was taking on water, the Coast Guard said. 

“Watchstanders issued an urgent marine information broadcast and directed the launch of a Coast Guard Station Brunswick boat crew and a Coast Guard Air Station Savannah helicopter crew to assist,” the release stated. “Commercial salvage also responded to the scene.”

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Coast Guard officials rescue a man whose sailboat ran aground off the coast of Georgia

U.S. Coast Guard Station Brunswich and U.S. Coast Guard Air Station Savannah teamed up with McIntosh County Fire and Rescue on Wednesday, May 8, 2024, to rescue a man whose sailboat ran aground of the coast of Georgia.   (U.S. Coast Guard Southeast)

After commercial salvage arrived on scene, the first responders attempted to prepare the sailboat to be towed. But while attempting to recover the boat’s anchor, the man aboard the grounded vessel suffered a severe injury to his hand, the Coast Guard said.

The Station Brunswick boat crew then arrived on scene with McIntosh County Fire and Rescue personnel and examined the man’s injury. They determined he would need to be evacuated via helicopter so he could quickly receive treatment.

Video released by the Coast Guard shows the man being hoisted up and away from the scene.

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U.S. Coast Guard personnel perform a rescue operation off the coast of Georgia

The man in distress radioed U.S. Coast Guard Sector Charleston via VHF-FM channel 16 for assistance, Coast Guard officials said. (U.S. Coast Guard Southeast)

“An Air Station Savannah helicopter crew safely hoisted the man from the sailboat, along with a McIntosh County Fire and Rescue emergency medical technician, and transported them to Memorial Health University Medical Center in Savannah,” the Coast Guard said.

Commercial salvage ungrounded the sailboat and towed it to a marina in Valona, Georgia, officials said. 

The U.S. Coast Guard Southeast advised that a serviceable Very High Frequency (VHF) marine radio can save lives during maritime emergencies.

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Scenes from a U.S. Coast Guard rescue

Images show the sinking sailboat and first responders working to rescue a man who sustained injuries after his boat, the Quicksilver, ran aground near Sapelo Sound, Georgia.  (U.S. Coast Guard Southeast)

VHF radios are “an essential piece of safety equipment” to keep on your boat and may be a sailor’s only line of communication from sea to shore in an emergency, according to a Coast Guard pamphlet.

In an emergency situation, a mayday call over VHF radio to Channel 16 should include the boat name, position and a description of the emergency if there is time. The Coast Guard asks those in danger to attempt to describe the boat, number of persons aboard, any injuries and state if everyone has a life jacket. 

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Those speaking on the radio should speak slowly and repeat this information three times to best ensure their emergency message is received, and the Coast Guard can respond. 

The Coast Guard says those enjoying their boats at sea should not rely on cell phones, which have limited range and do not work if they get wet.

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