2 Rescued off Montauk, NY
July 15, 2014
The Coast Guard responded to a disabled vessel near the Montauk jetties, on July 15, 2014. Watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector Long Island Sound received a report of 2 people aboard a 21’ vessel that had lost electrical power and the mariner’s only means of communication was by cell phone with a dying battery.
A boat crew from Coast Guard Station Montauk launched in the event that communications were lost. Additionally, reduced visibility and severe weather was forecasted for the area.
When the crew arrived, both the captain and his stepson were wearing their life jackets. The captain also had distress flags flying and emergency signal flares at the ready.
“The owner was flying two distress flags making it easier for our crew to locate them, which greatly reduced our search time especially since we were losing daylight and they had no electrical power,” said Petty Officer 3rd Class Matthew Foster, the officer of the day at Coast Guard Station Montauk.
“Having just a cell phone as a means of communication out at sea, although sometimes effective, should not be the mariner’s primary method, especially if you lose signal or there is no way to charge the battery, Foster said. “Ideally the Coast Guard recommends having either a handheld or fixed marine band radio in case of emergency.”
The Coats Guard crew towed the disabled vessel to West Lake boat ramp.