The U.S. Coast Guard on Wednesday rescued a man whose 20-foot pleasure boat became disabled in high seas off Steven Cay, in the channel between St. Thomas and St. John.
According to the USCG information officer Ricardo Castrodad, at 1:13 a.m. the Coast Guard Watchstander in San Juan, Puerto Rico, received a report from a woman reporting that her boyfriend had called her and told her his boat had become disabled off Steven Cay. The woman told the Coast Guard she had gone out on another vessel, arrived at Steven Cay and found her boy friend’s boat washed up on the rocks.
The Coast Guard relayed the information to its Boat Force Detachment on St. Thomas, which sent out a 33-foot Special Purpose Craft Law Enforcement boat – known as a SPCLE interceptor – which found the boat on the rocks. Crew members could hear the stranded boater calling for help and made two trips around the cay before locating him.
The rescuers could not reach him because of the reef line, and he had apparently sustained a hip injury and could not walk, according to the report. The Coast Guardsmen were able to throw him a personal floatation device attached to a line, and we able to reel him in and bring him aboard their vessel.
The name of the stranded boat was Lin Q, according to the Coast Guard. The Coast Guard reported the last name of the stranded boater was Seassale, although it could not guarantee that was the correct spelling and did not have a first name.
The Coast Guard took the man to Red Hook on St. Thomas, where they transferred him to the Emergency Medical Service.
Castrodad said the incident was a reminder that with the unusually high seas and rough conditions, boaters need to remain cautious and heed weather warnings.
“We are very glad to have been able to rescue this man, but we advise boaters to pay attention to the National Weather Service reports that are updated several times a day,” he said. “We always ask boaters to listen for those updates. It’s important because the conditions are dangerous. I’m not saying this boater did anything wrong, but if boaters make sure to pay attention to the National Weather Service Advisories, maybe some of these cases can be avoided.”