The crew of a Coast Guard MH-60T Jayhawk helicopter hoisted four men from a pleasure craft Sunday night after the vessel ran aground on Pelican Cay off St. Thomas, according to a news release.
“Rescued were four men after the High Flyer, a 48-foot Viking Sport Fisher registered out of Delaware, ended up on the rocks.
The cause of the grounding is yet to be determined, according to the news release.
Pelican Cay is about three miles off the north shore of St. Thomas, near Little Hans Lollik.
“These gentlemen are very fortunate, this grounding incident could have resulted in even more serious or fatal injuries,” said Lt. Cmdr. Nestor Lazu-Rivas, search and rescue mission coordinator for the case. “Fortunately, due to vessel running aground high on the rocks, our rescue crews were able to get on scene and remove all persons without having a situation involving a sinking vessel or people in the water.”
Coast Guard watchstanders at Sector San Juan received a communication from a 911 Emergency operator reporting the vessel in distress at 6:58 p.m. Sunday. The Coast Guard Air Station Borinquen MH-60T Jayhawk and a 33-foot Special Purpose Craft from Coast Guard Boat Forces St. Thomas launched to provide rescue assistance. Once on scene, the shore break and the High Flyer’s position prevented the Coast Guard vessel from reaching the fishing boat, according to the news release.
Unable to approach by sea, the helicopter hovered over the grounded vessel and deployed a rescue swimmer to assess the situation. The aircrew initially hoisted just one of the men, who had sustained injuries, and transported him to King Airport. He was met by emergency medical personnel who took him to Schneider Hospital, according to the news release.
“Following the transfer, the Coast Guard aircrew returned to the vessel, and used a rescue basket to hoist the three other men safely aboard the aircraft. They aircrew also transported the men to the Cyril E. King airport.”