According to a USCG press release, Sector New Orleans watchstanders received a distress call shortly after 2 a.m. this morning, which simply read “help.” By determining which radio tower the call came from, officials launched a search along the Atchafalaya Bay shoreline. That’s when officials said they spotted a flare.
“The helicopter diverted to the flare sighting and the crew discovered a 24-foot skiff grounded in the wetlands with two individuals aboard,” stated the release. “The aircrew hoisted the two boaters and transferred them to University Medical Center in New Orleans in stable condition.”
Officials say the stranded boaters were not the ones who made the report for help, as they were without any communication.
“With no other means of communication, the flare was the only way we could have known the boaters were out there,” said Lt. Cmdr. Lauren Keefe, a Sector New Orleans search and rescue mission coordinator. “The Coast Guard continues to urge the boating public to have proper communication equipment like VHF radios and locating devices such as EPIRBs and SPOT GPS to broadcast one’s location in case of emergencies like this.”