COAST GUARD TO THE RESCUE: Man and two dogs saved from weather-beaten sailboat

Coast Guard helicopter.

An Air Station Atlantic City MH-65 Dolphin helicopter aircrew hoists a man and his two dogs from his disabled sailboat two miles south of Smith Island Oct. 17, 2019. The man requested assistance after his sailing vessel became disabled due to weather conditions. U.S. Coast Guard video

CRISFIELD, MD — The Coast Guard hoisted a man and his dogs two miles south of Smith Island on Thursday morning, Oct. 17, 2019. 

Mara Natha Smith Island workboat.

Sector Maryland watchstanders received a distress call via VHF-FM radio at approximately 11 p.m. from a recreational boater reporting that his 26-foot sailing vessel had become disabled due to weather conditions near Smith Island.

Weather forecast ignored by sailor

A Station Crisfield 45-foot Response Boat-Medium boat crew was launched along with an Air Station Atlantic City MH-65 Dolphin helicopter aircrew to assist the man. A Maryland State Trooper helicopter aircrew also arrived to assist and visually confirmed the vessel’s location.

Maryland State Police Trooper Seven dedication. THE CHESAPEAKE TODAY photo

The man was hoisted along with his two dogs to Salisbury Regional Airport with no reported injuries.

“This instance highlights the importance of checking the weather prior to leaving for any voyage and continuing to monitor the marine forecast, as weather can change at a moment’s notice,” said Lt. Alfred Betts, public affairs officer at Sector Maryland. “We greatly appreciate the rapid response and capabilities of our partners with the Maryland State Police, with whom we worked very closely on this case.”

A potent storm that swept across the East Coast on Wednesday has left over half a million customers without power on Thursday morning, as winds from the back side of the storm system continue to whip across the region.

As the storm underwent rapid strengthening, it unleashed drenching rain, hurricane-force winds and even some high-elevation snow to the northeastern United States.

The storm packed a heavy punch with travel disruptions, tree damage, coastal flooding in addition to the power outages.

The storm strengthened at a fast enough pace into Thursday to be classified as a bomb cyclone. For a storm to meet bomb cyclone criteria, the barometric pressure has to fall at least 24 millibars, or 0.71 of an inch of Mercury, in 24 hours.

On Wednesday, AccuWeather meteorologist Jesse Ferrell predicated that this storm may allow new pressure records to fall.

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