Research Ship Founders, Crew Saved
Coast Guard aircrews rescue 12 crewmembers from sinking 170-foot research ship 'Seaprobe' 141 miles south of Pensacola.
The distress call from an emergency position indicating radio beacon (EPIRB) came from the research ship togehter with a report that they were taking on water and were unable to keep up with the flooding. The 12 crewmembers had abandoned ship and boarded three life rafts.
An MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew from ATC Mobile airlifted five crewmembers and another Jayhawk crew from Coast Guard Air Station Clearwater, Fla., launched and hoisted seven crewmembers. The two aircrews brought all of the Seaprobe crewmembers to ATC Mobile to await emergency medical services.
“When we arrived on scene we saw the hull sticking out of the water, and about a mile away, 12 crewmembers were on three life rafts tied together; our rescue swimmer assisted five into the hoist basket,” said Petty Officer 2nd Class Robert McDonald, ATC Mobile flight mechanic. “They were covered in diesel fuel and extremely cold, but every one of them was wearing a life jacket.”
EMS transported three crewmembers with medical concerns to the Providence Hospital in Mobile, while the remaining nine were reported as stable.
The cause of the incident is under investigation.
In the picture: Petty Officer 2nd Class Barry Pittman and emrgency medical services personnel treat a crewmember from the research vessel Seaprobe at Coast Guard Aviation Training Center Mobile following an airlift approximately 141 miles off the coast of Pensacola, Fla.