Coast Guard rescues boater after vessel capsized in Lake Pontchartrain

Updated: Jun. 12, 2021 at 2:15 PM CDT
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NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) -The Coast Guard rescued a boater Saturday whose vessel capsized after taking on water in Lake Pontchartrain.

The Coast Guard found James McGhee stranded on a jetty in Slidell after he had swam away from his vessel.

A Coast Guard aircrew lifted him onto a helicopter and transferred him to University Medical Center, where he was treated for symptoms of shock and hypothermia.

Watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector New Orleans received a distress call around 2 a.m. from McGhee who said that his vessel was taking on water in Lake Pontchartrain between the Highway 90 bridge and the I-10 Twin Span.

A Coast Guard Station New Orleans 45-foot Response Boat-Medium boatcrew and a Coast Guard Air Station New Orleans MH-65 Dolphin Helicopter aircrew deployed in response.

“Mr. McGhee’s access to a VHF radio saved his life,” said Cmdr. Brook Serbu, search and rescue mission coordinator at Sector New Orleans. “It is important that all mariners have access to a communication device in case of emergency, and preferably more than one such as a radio and cell phone.”

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