WATCH: Coast Guard rescues 7 people, 1 dog from flaming boat near Gulfport

Published: May. 22, 2022 at 10:39 AM CDT
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GULFPORT, Miss. (WVUE) - Seven boaters and an undoubtedly grateful dog were rescued this weekend from a burning boat off the Mississippi coast near Gulfport, the United States Coast Guard said.

The dramatic rescue occurred Saturday (May 21), according to a spokesman from USCG District 8′s command center.

The boat’s occupants issued a mayday call for assistance at 9:26 a.m. after their 45-foot Hatteras vessel caught fire. The Coast Guard responded with an HC-144 Ocean Sentry airplane and crew dispatched from the Coast Guard Aviation Training Center Mobile. The aircrew quickly surveyed the scene and deployed an inflatable rescue life raft into which the boaters and dog scrambled.

From Coast Guard Station Gulfport arrived a 45-foot response boat, whose crew rescued the boaters and dog from the raft, and took them back to safe harbor in Gulfport to be evaluated by emergency medical personnel. Those rescued were said to be in stable condition, the Coast Guard said.

Images from the incident shot by the aircraft’s cameras provided video of the dramatic rescue. The cause of the boat’s fire was not immediately known.

Lt. Cmdr. Kathleen Sullivan, a Mobile-based search-and-rescue mission coordinator, called Saturday’s effort “a seamless example of teamwork and coordination” between multiple Coast Guard and local assets.

“Today officially kicks off National Safe Boating Week,” Sullivan said Saturday. “The prudent actions of those aboard the Hatteras -- hailing mayday to the Coast Guard and all personnel wearing life jackets -- coupled with the quick actions of the aircrew deploying the life raft ultimately allowed the Coast Guard to bring all seven back to shore safely.”

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