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U.S. Coast Guard Rescues Stranded Kayaker In Distress Near Perseverence Bay

CHARLOTTE AMALIE — The crew of a Boat Forces Detachment St. Thomas 33 Special Purpose Craft – Law Enforcement rescued a kayaker in distress west of Perseverance Bay Sunday evening, authorities said.

Coast Guard watchstanders in Sector San Juan received a call from a Saint Thomas 911 Emergency Service operator at 5:30 p.m. Sunday, reporting a call from the kayaker, who said he had suffered a pulled shoulder and could not make it back to shore.

With sunset approaching, the Boat Forces crew responded and searched the area, when shortly thereafter the kayaker was spotted stranded on the rocky shore of Perseverance Bay.

The boat crew used a rescue line to help assist the kayaker to the boat and safely recover him from the water.  The kayaker was transported to pier at the University of the Virgin Islands, where he was received by awaiting  Emergency Medical Service personnel.

“Thanks to the swift response and highly skilled crew we were able to achieve the best case scenario for the situation,”  Petty Officer 2nd Class Eduardo Sanchez, said. “Arriving on scene before sunset was key to us being able to spot and rescue him.” 

Sanchez said that the case was “really rewarding” since it was also the first rescue case for two of the crew.  

“We are constantly training to remain proficient and be at our best when the call comes in, being able to rely on your training to help save a life is what it’s all about and makes all the hard work worthwhile,” Sanchez said.

Sanchez additionally mentioned that the kayaker was able to call in the distress using his cel phone, but the device was close to losing signal.    

It’s important for boaters to have some type of VHF marine communications as a primary means of communication, to always use a life jacket and prepare a float plan that will be shared with a responsible person who can call for help and provide the details of a voyage in case of an overdue situation.

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The Author

John McCarthy

John McCarthy

John McCarthy is primarily known for his investigative reporting on the U.S. Virgin Islands. A series of reports beginning in the 1990's revealed that there was everything from coliform bacteria to Cryptosporidium in locally-bottled St. Croix drinking water, according to a then-unpublished University of the Virgin Islands sampling. Another report, following Hurricane Hugo in 1989, cited a Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) confidential overview that said that over 40 percent of the U.S. Virgin Islands public lives below the poverty line. The Virgin Islands Free Press is the only Caribbean news source to regularly incorporate the findings of U.S. Freedom of Information Act requests. John's articles have appeared in the BVI Beacon, St. Croix Avis, San Juan Star and Virgin Islands Daily News. He is the former news director of WSVI-TV Channel 8 on St. Croix.

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