Coast Guard crews rescue boaters, cat from frigid NJ waters (VIDEOS)
Crews from the NJ Coast Guard performed several dramatic rescues this past weekend off the coast of South Jersey, pulling two hypothermic fisherman from the frigid waters and saving an overboard boat passenger as well as a cat during another rescue.
Several units were involved in the cases, according to a press release from the Coast Guard. The rescues began Saturday when a boat crew from Coast Guard Station Cape May towed a disabled sailboat that had broken down in the bay with one person aboard.
"With a freeze warning in effect, the boat crew used a 45-foot Response Boat—Medium to tow the sailboat to safety," the press release stated.
The next rescue came on Saturday after crews launched a search at about 11 p.m. for two fishermen aboard a 23-foot boat that was stuck in shallow waters off Brigantine.
A helicopter unit from Coast Guard Air Station Atlantic City responded and hoisted the two "mildly hypothermic" men shortly after midnight Sunday. They were taken to Air Station Atlantic City.
Another rescue on Sunday involved not only a person aboard a sailboat, but a cat as well.
"A boat crew from Coast Guard Station Atlantic City responded to a report of the sailboat, Sovereign Subject, disabled approximately 21 miles offshore from Atlantic City with a man and a cat aboard," according to the Coast Guard.
The main had fallen overboard but then managed to climb back aboard the vessel and await help. The 47-foot Motor Lifeboat crew responded to the scene. An Air Station Atlantic City helicopter then diverted from a training flight "to hoist the man and transfer him to EMS personnel."
"The boat crew transported the cat and towed the Sovereign Subject to Farley State Marina in Atlantic City," the press release indicated.
Watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector Delaware Bay in Philadelphia as well as watchstanders the 5th Coast Guard District in Portsmouth, Virginia helped coordinate the rescues.
Toniann Antonelli is the digital managing editor at NJ 101.5. Reach her at email@example.com, or on Twitter @ToniRadio1015.