Coast Guard responds to 54 search-and-rescue cases over Memorial Day Weekend

Incidents took place off coasts of Florida, Georgia and South Carolina

The Coast Guard responded to 54 search-and-rescue cases off the Florida, Georgia and South Carolina coasts during the recent Memorial Day Weekend.

Coast Guard Station Miami Beach small boat crew conducts ports, waterways, coastal security tactical training in Biscayne Bay. Conducting patrols deters terrorists from using or exploiting the U.S. marine transportation system as a means for attacks on U.S. territory, population centers, vessels, critical infrastructure and key resources. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Station Miami Beach

Coast Guard Sector Miami rescue crews responded to 11 search-and-rescue cases, saved seven people and assisted 17 people during Memorial Day weekend.

  • A Coast Guard Station Fort Pierce small boat crew rescued two people from the water, Friday, after their 25-foot vessel capsized near Fort Pierce Inlet. The small boat crew returned the two people to Stan Blum Boat Ramp with no medical concerns reported.
  • Coast Guard Station Miami Beach and Lake Worth Inlet rescue crews towed two personal watercrafts, Saturday and Sunday, with two people aboard each watercraft off South Florida’s coast. No medical concerns were reported.

Sector Key West rescue crews responded to a total of 12 search-and-rescue cases and assisted 26 people during Memorial Day weekend.

  • A Coast Guard Station Islamorada rescue crew medevaced the master of a boat, The Lost Continent, after he had suffered an injury from a moray eel on Sunday near Islamorada. The rescue crew applied first aid and transferred him to awaiting emergency medical service personnel for further medical care at Station Islamorada.

Sector Jacksonville rescue crews responded to a total of five search-and-rescue cases, saved one person and assisted six people during Memorial Day weekend.

  • A Coast Guard Air Station Clearwater helicopter aircrew medevaced a 59-year-old man Friday from the cruise ship Carnival Sunshine, 115 miles off the coast of Jacksonville. The aircrew transferred the man to UF Health Trauma One Hospital for further medical care.

Sector Charleston rescue crews responded to a total of 12 search-and-rescue cases, saved 18 people and assisted 16 people during Memorial Day weekend.

  • A Coast Guard Station Tybee rescue crew medevaced a 19-year-old female who suffered an injury from a stingray, Sunday, in Wassaw Sound, Ga. She was transferred to awaiting EMS personnel for further medical care at Bulls River Marina.
A Coast Guard Station St. Petersburg rescue crew medevaced a woman with an injury in Tampa Bay. The woman was transferred to awaiting emergency medical service personnel at a local marina in stable condition. U.S. Coast Guard photo

Sector St. Petersburg rescue crews responded to a total of 14 search and rescue cases resulting in 11 people saved/assisted during Memorial Day weekend.

  • A Coast Guard Station St. Petersburg rescue crew medevaced a woman Sunday with an injury in Tampa Bay who was then transferred to awaiting EMS at a local marina in stable condition.
Coast Guard Station Lake Worth Inlet small boat crew towed a personal watercraft after it capsized to Phil Foster State Park. The small boat crew rescued two people from the water from the capsized personal watercraft with no reported medical concerns. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Station Lake Worth Inlet

According to the 2020 National Safe Boating statistics, the Coast Guard counted 5,265 accidents that involved 767 deaths, 3,191 injuries and approximately $62.5 million of damage to property as a result of recreational boating accidents.

  • Compared to 2019, the number of accidents increased 26.3 percent, the number of deaths increased 25.1 percent and the number of injuries increased 24.7 percent.
  • Where cause of death was known, 75 percent of fatal boating accident victims drowned. Of those drowning victims with reported life jacket usage, 86 percent were not wearing a life jacket.
  • Alcohol use is the leading known contributing factor in fatal boating accidents; where the primary cause was known, it was listed as the leading factor in 18 percent of deaths.
  • Where instruction was known, 77 percent of deaths occurred on boats where the operator did not receive boating safety instruction. Only 12 percent of deaths occurred on vessels where the operator was known to have received a nationally-approved boating safety education certificate.
  • There were 247 accidents in which at least one person was struck by a propeller. Collectively, these accidents resulted in 39 deaths and 241 injuries.

Mariners can download the free, iOS and Android, Coast Guard mobile app to file a float plan, report hazards to navigation, pollution and suspicious behavior, and to access additional information on boating safety and vessel requirements specific to individual boating needs.

Further boating safety information can be found online at the following:

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