Coast Guard helicopter rescues stranded fisherman clinging to rock during Tropical Storm Earl

Coast Guard helicopter rescues stranded fisherman
Coast Guard helicopter rescues stranded fisherman

The Coast Guard rescued a 50-year-old fisherman who was clinging to a jagged rock as he was hit by 60-foot waves during Tropical Storm Earl by lowering a rescuer from a helicopter.

A 50-year-old fisherman clinging to jagged rocks off Dog Island in the Caribbean was saved Sunday by the Coast Guard in a daring rescue during Tropical Storm Earl.

The rescued fisherman, who was not identified, took his 26-foot fishing boat to the rocks off the coast of Dog Island to spear fish when waves began to intensify, injuring him and leaving him stranded, the Coast Guard said.

The fisherman clung to jagged rocks as he was hit by six-foot waves , hoping to be rescued when a close friend called 911 for help.

The Coast Guard base in San Juan sprang into action around 8:30 a.m. and contacted a rescue team at Air Station Borinquen in St. Thomas, Coast Guard News reported.

A 33-foot special purpose boat and an MH-60T Jayhawk helicopter were deployed to rescue the stranded fisherman.

When rescuers arrived, the boat crew attempted to pass a heavy rope to the injured fisherman. But the brutal force of the waves prevented the rope from reaching him.

The rescue helicopter then deployed an aircraft rescue swimmer, which descended to grab the fisherman and lift him off the rocks to safety.

The crew landed at Cyril E. King Airport in St. Thomas and the fisherman was taken to Schneider Regional Medical Center, Coast Guard News reported.

The severity of the fisherman's injuries is unknown.

Tropical Storm Earl has been impacting the Caribbean as it continued its rage off the coast of Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands on Monday morning, causing heavy rain and dangerous storm surge.

The storm began to move away from the Caribbean as of Monday night.

“I am proud of the crew. Everyone came together as a team to execute the mission safely and efficiently,” said Lt. Shea Smith, Coast Guard MH-60T Jayhawk aircraft commander.

“Fortunately, the survivor was able to hold on until we were able to get there, and we're all glad he's safe.”

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