01 September 2010

CTWG: Connecticut Civil Air Patrol Assists US Coast Guard in New Haven Harbor

August 27, 2010, New Haven, CT - On Friday afternoon, a Connecticut Civil Air Patrol aircraft patrolling the Long Island Sound coastline for the CT Department of Emergency Management & Homeland Security picked up a radio distress call alerting them to a local vessel in distress.

An overturned 18 foot sailboat was drifting near the west end of New Haven Harbor's East Breakwater. A nearby boat reported adults and children in the water and one person holding onto the overturned hull. The CT CAP aircraft diverted from its original flight plan arriving on scene five minutes later. They orbited the vessel to assess the situation, while the victims received immediate assistance from helpful nearby boaters.

Responding to the distress call, USCG New Haven immediately dispatched a response boat. Communications problems prevented the USCG Shore Station from communicating directly with their response boat, so the Civil Air Patrol aircraft continued to orbit the area providing live reports of the situation until the USCG took charge of the rescue.

The CAP aircrew from the Thames River Composite Squadron (Groton, CT) included Capt Thomas Petry the Mission Pilot, LtCol Lawrence Kinch, Observer and Maj Stephen Rocketto the Scanner-Photographer.

This and many missions like it are funded by a grant from the Connecticut Department of Emergency Management Services and Homeland Security. Throughout the entire summer Connecticut’s volunteer members fly periodic patrols along Connecticut’s Long Island shore area. Whenever required, they assist the Coast Guard and other Connecticut agencies in search and rescue as well as infrastructure surveillance operations. This program is administered by the Connecticut Wing Liaison Officer, Major Jack Shapiro.

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