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Coast Guard MH-60T rescue fisherman off Dog Island

Coast Guard MH-60T rescue fisherman off Dog Island
Archive image: A Coast Guard Air Station Clearwater MH-60T Jayhawk aircrew deployed to Coast Guard Air Station Borinquen, Puerto Rico, prepares to offload food and water from the Federal Emergency Management Agency at Bella Vista Hospital in Mayaguez, Puerto Rico, Oct. 11, 2017.
The FEMA food and water was delivered to patients and workers at the hospital for Hurricane Maria relief.
U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 1st Class David Micallef.

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico — A Coast Guard MH-60T Jayhawk helicopter aircrew rescue a spear fisherman in distress on the rocks just off Dog Island, U.S. Virgin Islands. Sunday.

The​ survivor, a man reportedly over 50-years-old, was injured and holding on as six-foot seas from passing Tropical Storm Earl crashed against the rocks.

“This was a challenging case in a tropical storm with heavy seas, gusty winds, and low visibility, but this is what the Coast Guard trains for,” said Lt. Shea Smith, Coast Guard MH-60T Jayhawk aircraft commander for the case. “I’m proud of the crew, everyone came together as a team to safely and efficiently execute the mission.​ Fortunately, the survivor was able to hang on until we could arrive and we are all glad that he is safe.”

Coast Guard watchstanders in Sector San Juan received a call at approximately 8:30 a.m. Sunday from a St. Thomas 911 emergency dispatch operator, who relayed a distress communication from the friend of the fisherman on scene aboard 26-foot Grady White vessel. ​

A Coast Guard MH-60T Jayhawk helicopter aircrew rescue a spear fisherman in distress just off Dog Island, U.S. Virgin Islands Sept. 4, 2022.
The survivor, reportedly over 50-years-old, was safely transferred to the Cyril E. King airport in St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands, where he was received by awaiting Emergency Medical Service personnel. U.S. Coast Guard video.
U.S. Coast Guard Air Station Borinquen.
U.S. Coast Guard Sector San Juan.
U.S. Coast Guard Atlantic Area.
U.S. Coast Guard Southeast.
Commandant of the U.S. Coast Guard.
Department of Homeland Security.

Coast Guard watchstanders directed the launch of a Coast Guard Boat Forces St. Thomas 33-foot Special Purpose Craft and a MH-60T Jayhawk Medium-Range Recovery Helicopter from Air Station Borinquen. Once on scene, the Coast Guard boat crew attempted to pass a heaving line to the injured fisherman but the crashing waves prevented the crew from getting close enough to reach him.​ The Coast Guard MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter then moved in and deployed the aircraft rescue swimmer who used a harness to secure and hoist the survivor from the rocks.

The Coast Guard MH-60T Jayhawk aircrew transported the survivor to the Cyril E. King airport in St. Thomas, where he was transferred to awaiting Emergency Medical Service (EMS) personnel and transported to the Schneider Regional Medical Center.

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