The Coast Guard boat crew, already underway on a patrol, was diverted to respond to the incident. By the time they arrived at the scene, the man had put on a lifejacket, depressed the distress button on his handheld marine band radio, and grabbed his emergency signaling devices before the boat sank and he entered the water. As the Coast Guard boat neared, he fired a flare to ensure they could locate him.
The man’s boat was nearly completely sunk, with only 3-4 feet of the bow remaining above the water.
The crew took the man aboard and had him put on one of their cold-water drysuits to warm him up. They transported him to the station, where he was met by emergency medical personnel. Once he was dry and warm, he declined further medical assistance and was released.
“Combining the fact that he had a float plan with his family, he knew how to operate his radio and who to contact, and had all required and recommended safety gear, all came together to make it very easy to effect a rescue,” said Petty Officer 2nd Class Jeff Catanzarite, officer-of-the-day at Station St. Joseph. “His preparation exponentially increased his chances of survival.”