Coast Guard rescues two stranded boaters near Morgan City, La.

Published 3:01 pm Tuesday, August 30, 2022

NEW ORLEANS — The Coast Guard rescued two stranded boaters Tuesday near Morgan City, Louisiana. 

Coast Guard Sector New Orleans watchstanders received a distress call over VHF-FM channel 16 at 2:04 a.m. stating, “help” with no other information. Watchstanders deciphered an approximate search area based on the location of the radio tower the call was made on and coordinated the launch of a Coast Guard Air Station New Orleans MH-60 Jayhawk aircrew to assist.

While conducting the search along the Atchafalaya Bay shoreline, the aircrew spotted a flare. The helicopter diverted to the flare sighting and the crew discovered a 24-foot skiff grounded in the wetlands with two individuals aboard. The aircrew hoisted the two boaters and transferred them to University Medical Center in New Orleans in stable condition.

The boaters were stranded without any means of communication and were not the ones that made the initial call for help.

“With no other means of communication, the flare was the only way we could have known the boaters were out there,” said Lt. Cmdr. Lauren Keefe, a Sector New Orleans search and rescue mission coordinator. “The Coast Guard continues to urge the boating public to have proper communication equipment like VHF radios and locating devices such as EPIRBs and SPOT GPS to broadcast one’s location in case of emergencies like this.”

An Aviation Training Center Mobile HC-144 Ocean Sentry aircrew continued to search for any distress correlating to the initial call, but search efforts have been suspended due to a lack of evidence.