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Monday, September 26, 2016

Survivor Rescued by Coast Guard and USNS Comfort

January 9, 2003

Response Coordination Center (RCC) Bermuda called off the search for two boaters reported missing Wednesday night after a Coast Guard C-130 aircraft and the USNS Comfort rescued one survivor who had been floating without a lifejacket for about 18 hours. Around 2:45 a.m. Wednesday, a C-130 aircraft from Elizabeth City, N.C., launched to search for a distress signal off Bermuda with a second aircraft replacing them later that morning. The C-130 located a person in the water waving at them at approximately noon and dropped them a life raft with survival gear. USNS Comfort , recently deployed in support of the war on terrorism, diverted to assist in the rescue at the request of Response Coordination Center Bermuda. The reported sea conditions were 12- to 15-foot seas with a water temperature of 66 degrees.

Comfort arrived onscene at approximately 3:30 p.m. and recovered the person from the water. After being picked up by the Comfort, the survivor described what happened. His account describes a wave hitting the boat and rolling it over around 6:30 p.m. Tuesday. He had been at the helm and climbed free, but he never saw the two other gentlemen on the boat. The boat never re-righted and sank about 20 minutes later. The survivor floated with no life jacket or any other type of survival equipment for about 18 hours until the Coast Guard C-130 dropped the life raft to him. The USNS Comfort is currently enroute to their original destination and the survivor will remain onboard until the Comfort's next port-of-call.



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