Coast Guard Locates Capsized Vessel with EPIRB

Friday, June 27, 2003
The U.S. Coast Guard and the Canadian Coast Guard responded to a mayday call at 7:40 p.m. that was sent out by a 406-megahertz EPIRB or Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon. The signal was positioned 3 Nautical Miles S.W. of Race Rocks in Canadian waters. The EPIRB allowed rescue personnel to quickly locate the capsized trimeran, the "Red Shift" and her crew of four. A Coast Guard HH-65A Dolphin helicopter from Air Station Port Angeles and the Coast Guard Cutter Osprey were dispatched to respond to the mayday signal of the EPIRB. The Coast Guard helicopter arrived on scene to find three of the crew sitting on the capsized vessel with a fourth trapped inside. The rescue swimmer was lowered from the helicopter into the water. He then assisted the trapped man from the cabin. After a quick evaluation of the four-crew members, it was decided that a female named Janine Bell, 43, from Nananio, B.C. who was suffering from mild hypothermia needed the most medical attention and was hoisted into the helicopter and flown back to Port Angeles where she was treated by local EMS. The Coast Guard Cutter Osprey and Canadian Coast Guard Cutter Bartlett arrived on scene moments later and the three remaining crewmembers were taken aboard the Canadian Coast Guard Cutter Bartlett. The 406-megahertz EPIRB helped take the search out of “ Search and Rescue”. The EPIRB alerted the Coast Guard to a vessel that was in distress when there was no time to call for help on the radio. The EPIRB’s satellite positioning system allowed the Coast Guard to locate the Red Shift and immediately dispatch rescue crews allowing a quick and dynamic rescue to take place.

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