Coast Guard assists 4 near Smith Point, Md.

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U. S. Coast Guard utility boat; fast to the rescue for those in distress on The Chesapeake and its tributaries.

ST. INIGOES (Oct. 15, 2010) –– The Coast Guard assisted four people from a vessel disabled and beset by weather in the Potomac River near Smith Point, Md., Friday.

Rescued was Pete Hoeltje, 38, from Manahawkin, N.J., Mike Carrey, 22, from Manahawkin, N.J., Mike Dunlap, 38, from Chestertown Md., and Paul Snieckus, 20, from Marlton, N.J.

Hoeltje contacted Coast Guard Sector Baltimore watchstanders via marine-band radio at 1:51 a.m., reporting that his 28-foot sailboat was disabled and beset by weather.

A 41-foot Utility Boat crew from Coast Guard Station St. Inigoes, Md.,located in St. Mary’s County, arrived on scene at 2:31 a.m., and transferred the passengers onto their vessel, where they were then taken to Station St. Inigoes.

“We were operating on a handheld radio at that point,” said Hoeltje. “We figured the only people that were going to hear us was the Coast Guard. It’s nice having the peace of mind to know that you guys are there in any given situation.”

The mariners were later transported to Annapolis, Md., by Coast Guard personnel.

“This is yet another great example of how a mariner properly used his VHF radio to contact the Coast Guard,” said Chief Petty Officer Lawrence Beatty, a search and rescue coordinator at Sector Baltimore. “We were able to utilize our Rescue 21 system to establish communications and locate the mariner quickly.”

As the air and water temperatures in Maryland and Washington, D.C., begin to decrease, the risk mariners may face if they find themselves in an emergency situation while on the water significantly increases. The Coast Guard urges mariners to plan for what might go wrong and be equipped and prepared for survival.

There were no reports of injuries.

Recovered Coast Guardsman identified

PORTSMOUTH, Va. (Oct. 15, 2010) –– The Coast Guard has identified the body of the Coast Guardsman who died after falling into the James River near Newport News during a training exercise Wednesday.

Deceased is Petty Officer 3rd Class Shaun Lin, 23, of New York. Lin, a Maritime Enforcement Specialist, has served the Coast Guard for approximately 3 years.

The victim’s next of kin have been notified and support services are being provided to his family, as well as Coast Guard crewmembers.

At approximately 9:15 p.m., Wednesday Oct. 13, Lin, a member of the Maritime Safety and Security Team New York fell from a ladder into the James River while attempting to transfer from a Maritime Safety and Security Team 25-foot small boat to the Coast Guard Cutter Frank Drew during a training exercise in the vicinity of the Monitor-Merrimac Bridge Tunnel near Newport News.

The crew aboard the small boat attempted a recovery but lost sight of the overboard crewmember.

An immediate search began with surface and air assets as well as a sub-surface search with local police and fire dive teams and side scan sonar.

“As we shift focus towards providing care and compassion for the family of Petty Officer Lin and his closest shipmates, I ask each of you to keep Shaun, his family, and the crew of MSST New York in your thoughts and prayers,” said Adm. Robert J. Papp, commandant of the Coast Guard, in a letter to all Coast Guard members.

The training accident is currently under investigation.

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