Sailor Rescued by Coast Guard Helicopter in Heavy Seas off Shinnecock

Coast Guard Air Station Cape Code photo of Thursday's rescue
Coast Guard Air Station Cape Code photo of Thursday’s rescue

The captain of a 40-foot sailboat was rescued early Thursday morning by Coast Guard helicopter in heavy seas in high seas and heavy winds 12 miles out in the Atlantic Ocean off of Shinnecock Inlet.

Watchstanders at the Coast Guard Sector Long Island Sound command center received a distress call at about 7:30 a.m. from the 40-foot sailing vessel Pocho, which was taking on water and in need of Coast Guard assistance.

An MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter was launched from Air Station Cape Cod at 7:36 a.m., and arrived on scene at 8:54 a.m.

Despite winds gusting to 25-knots and seas reaching nine-feet, the Jayhawk helicopter crew safely hoisted the man aboard and transported him to Air Station Cape Cod, where emergency medical services awaited his arrival.

“This is an example of doing everything right,” said Mark Averill, a command duty officer at Sector Long Island Sound. “The subject notified the Coast Guard before his situation became a distress, and had all of his safety gear ready to go. When his situation deteriorated, the rescue crews were already briefed and on the way to his position before communications were lost. In this situation the subject was rescued without further incident, which may not have been the case had he waited.”

A video of the rescue is online below:



Beth Young

Beth Young has been covering the East End since the 1990s. In her spare time, she runs around the block, tinkers with bicycles, tries not to drown in the Peconic Bay and hopes to grow the perfect tomato. You can send her a message at

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