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.
The High Flyer, a 48-foot Viking Sport Fisher registered out of Delaware, ended up on the rocks during its transit, according to a news release issued Tuesday. The cause of the grounding is yet to be determined.
“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 the 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.”
Pelican Cay is located just north of Little Hans-Lollik Island off the north side of St. Thomas.
Coast Guard watchstanders at Sector San Juan received a communication from a 911 emergency operator at 6:58 p.m. Sunday reporting the distress, according to the release. A Coast Guard Air Station Borinquen MH-60T Jayhawk and a 33-foot Special Purpose Craft from Coast Guard Boat Forces St. Thomas were launched to provide rescue assistance. Once on scene, the shore break and the High Flyer’s position prevented the Coast Guard vessel from reaching and embarking the boaters, the release stated.
Shortly thereafter, the Coast Guard helicopter hovered over the grounded vessel and the aircrew deployed their rescue swimmer to assess the situation. The aircrew initially hoisted one of the men who sustained injuries and transported him to the Cyril E. King Airport on St. Thomas, where Emergency Medical Service personnel received and transported the patient to the hospital.
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. The aircrew also transported the men to the Cyril E. King Airport.