Mississippi Wing Aircrew Aids Vessel In Distress
Monday, May 15, 2017
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Photo Caption:
Stranded boat with many people aboard found off Mississippi Coast by the Sundown Patrol. The aircraft acknowledged to the boat that they saw them, radioed the US Coast Guard, and stayed in place until help arrived.


By Lt. Col. David (Hank) Rogers, Mississippi Wing
Ocean Springs, Miss.--
Volunteers from Civil Air Patrol's Mississippi Wing spotted and helped rescue four boaters whose vessel was stranded without power in the Mississippi Sound on Saturday.
 
Lt. Col. David Rogers, the wing's vice commander, said Monday an aerial "sundown patrol" off the waters along the Harrison and Jackson county lines spotted the vessel at about 6:15 p.m. with its passengers waving frantically.
 
The two-member CAP aircrew, Maj. Ronald Turner and 1st Lt. Carroll Fontenot, rocked the wings of their Cessna 182 aircraft to acknowledge they received the boaters' distress signals.
 
Rogers said the vessel did not appear to have power. Winds were high, seas were running four to six feet and there was a small-craft warning in effect at the time, he said.
 
Turner and Fontenot alerted the U.S. Coast Guard, who asked the aircrew to stay on station with the vessel until they reached the site, Rogers said. The CAP aircrew remained at the scene until the Coast Guard towed the vessel to port at about 7:20 p.m.
 
More than 50 wing members conduct aerial patrols of the coastal waters of the Mississippi Sound and the Barrier Islands each year.
 
Rogers said the sundown patrol, which extends from the Pearl River at Louisiana to the Alabama line, is conducted each weekend, two hours before sundown.
 
Working in unison with the Coast Guard, Rogers said Mississippi Wing air crews look for boaters in distress, hazards to navigation and anyone that might need assistance on or near the barrier islands.
Article Information
Reviewed by: Mississippi Wing Public Affairs
Syndicated to: Region Hq, Alabama Wing, Mississippi Wing
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Civil Air Patrol, the longtime all-volunteer U.S. Air Force auxiliary, is the newest member of the Air Forceís Total Force, which consists of regular Air Force, Air National Guard and Air Force Reserve, along with Air Force retired military and civilian employees. CAP, in its Total Force role, operates a fleet of 550 aircraft and performs about 90 percent of continental U.S. inland search and rescue missions as tasked by the Air Force Rescue Coordination Center and is credited by the AFRCC with saving an average of 78 lives annually. Civil Air Patrolís 56,000 members nationwide also perform homeland security, disaster relief and drug interdiction missions at the request of federal, state and local agencies. Its members additionally play a leading role in aerospace education and serve as mentors to more than 24,000 young people currently participating in the CAP cadet program. Performing missions for America for the past 75 years, CAP received the Congressional Gold Medal in 2014 in honor of the heroic efforts of its World War II veterans. CAP also participates in Wreaths Across America, an initiative to remember, honor and teach about the sacrifices of U.S. military veterans. Visit www.capvolunteernow.com for more information.
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