Coast Guard rescues 4 after boat hits rocks in Pelican Cay


An MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter sits in the hangar at Air Station Borinquen, Puerto Rico. The Coast Guard deployed such a helicopter on Sunday to rescue four men whose boat ran aground on Pelican Cay off St. Thomas. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Lt. Carlos Gonzalez)

The crew of a Coast Guard Jayhawk MH-60T helicopter hoisted four men out of a pleasure craft Sunday night after the vessel ran aground on Pelican Cay off St. Thomas.

The High Flyer, a 48-foot Delaware-registered Viking Sport Fisher, ended up on the rocks while in transit, according to a press release on Tuesday. The cause of the grounding remains to be determined.

“These gentlemen are very lucky, this grounding incident could have resulted in even more serious or fatal injuries,” said Lt. Cmdr. Nestor Lazu-Rivas, coordinator of the search and rescue mission for the case. “Fortunately, due to the ship stranded on the rocks, our rescue teams were able to get to the scene and remove everyone without being in a situation involving a sinking ship or people in the water. “

Pelican Cay is located just north of Little Hans-Lollik Island, north of St. Thomas.

Coast Guard in the San Juan sector received a communication from an emergency 911 operator at 6:58 p.m. Sunday reporting the distress, the statement said. A Borinquen MH-60T Jayhawk Coast Guard Air Base and Coast Guard Boat Forces St. Thomas 33ft Special Purpose Craft were launched to provide rescue assistance. Once there, the shore break and the position of the High Flyer prevented the Coast Guard vessel from reaching and boarding the boaters, the statement said.

Shortly thereafter, the Coast Guard helicopter flew over the grounded vessel and the crew deployed their lifeguard to assess the situation. The crew first hoisted one of the injured men and transported him to Cyril E. King Airport in St. Thomas, where EMS personnel received and transported the patient to the hospital.

After the transfer, the Coast Guard crew returned to the ship and used a rescue pod to hoist the other three men safely aboard the aircraft. The crew also transported the men to Cyril E. King Airport.

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