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Coast Guard rescues three people from a vessel on fire near Panama City, Florida

Coast Guard Panama City, MH-65D Dolphin from Air Station New Orleans
An Air Station New Orleans MH-65 Dolphin helicopter aircrew.
Coast Guard Air Station New Orleans supports a wide range operations to include search and rescue, law enforcement, port security, and marine environmental protection.
U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Brandon Giles (archive).

NEW ORLEANS — The Coast Guard rescued three people from a vessel on fire near Panama City, Florida, Wednesday.

Watchstanders at Coast Guard District Eight Command Center were alerted to the activation of an Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon approximately 35 miles offshore of Panama City at 1:33 p.m.

After confirming that the vessel registered to the EPIRB had gotten underway this morning, District Eight directed the launch of Coast Guard assets to conduct a search and rescue.

The response included:

  • -A 45-ft Rescue Boat – Medium crew from Coast Guard Station Panama City
  • -An MH-65 Dolphin Helicopter aircrew from Coast Guard Air Station New Orleans
  • -An HC-144 Ocean Sentry aircrew from Coast Guard Aviation Training Center Mobile
Coast Guard Panama City HC-144 Ocean Sentry from Aviation Training Center Mobile, Coast Guard AT Mobile
A Coast Guard Aviaiton Training Center Mobile HC-144 Ocean Sentry. ATC Mobile is a multi-mission unit, acting as the Coast Guard’s aviation and capabilities development center, as well as an operational air station.
Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Brandon Giles (archive).

District watchstanders were aided by Good Samaritan vessels who responded on scene to an urgent marine information broadcast.

The Good Samaritan vessel “First Light” was able to recover all three passengers from a life raft near a vessel on fire.

The three passengers were transferred to the Coast Guard boat crew and transported to the station in stable condition. Emergency medical services treated one passenger for smoke inhalation.

“The Coast Guard urges mariners to keep sufficient, up-to-date, life-saving equipment on board at all times,” said Petty Officer First Class Jason Bowen of the Coast Guard District Eight Command Center. “A registered EPIRB and life raft were critical in saving the lives of these individuals.”

USCG rescued three people from a vessel on fire approximately 35 miles offshore Panama City, Florida
U.S. Coast Guard courtesy asset.
First Light vessel, Coast Guard rescued three people from a vessel on fire approximately 35 miles offshore Panama City, Florida
U.S. Coast Guard courtesy asset.
USCG rescued three people from a vessel on fire approximately 35 miles offshore
U.S. Coast Guard courtesy asset.
USCG rescued three people from a vessel on fire approximately 35 miles offshore
The Coast Guard rescued three people from a vessel on fire approximately 35 miles offshore Panama City, Florida, October 2, 2019. The Coast Guard was able to render timely assistance due to an onboard life raft and emergency position identifying radio beacon (EPIRB).
U.S. Coast Guard courtesy asset.

District watchstanders have issued a safety marine information broadcast due to the vessel still being on fire.

The cause of the fire is under investigation.

-USCG-

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