Thursday, October 3, 2013

Coast Guard crews rescue overboard lobsterman

Coast Guard crews rescue overboard lobsterman:
Coast Guard crews from across the Northeast worked together to rescue a commercial lobsterman who fell overboard off Long Island, N.Y., Wednesday.

John Aldridge, a crewmember of the 44-foot lobster vessel Anna Mary was last seen aboard the boat during his watch relief at 9 p.m., Tuesday, while the vessel was underway off Montauk, N.Y.

Coast Guard watchstanders received a report of the missing fisherman from the crew of the Anna Mary at approximately 6:30 a.m., Wednesday. Rescue crews from Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut and New York coordinated to develop and conduct a search pattern that covered more than 780 square miles (more than half the size of the state of Rhode Island).

Crews established the search area based on the assumption Aldridge has fallen overboard without a lifejacket sometime after 9 p.m., Tuesday, but before 4:30 a.m., Wednesday. Eight hours after the initial report, an Air Station Cape Cod MH-60T Jayhawk helicopter located Aldridge 36 nautical miles south of Montauk, N.Y. The air crew deployed a rescue swimmer who hoisted Aldridge to safety.  

"This ending had a lot of people shaking hands and smiling," said Lt. Joe Klinker, First Coast Guard District public affairs officer. "Reports of persons in the water often mean a difficult search is ahead. To hear the call that he was found and rescued makes it a proud day for those Coast Guard crews."
Aldridge told the helicopter crew he used his rubber boots as flotation devices throughout the ordeal.

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