Coast Guard, fire crews rescue man, granddaughter twice in Charleston Harbor

Coast Guard, fire crews rescue man, granddaughter twice in Charleston Harbor

CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - Crews with Coast Guard Sector Charleston and the Charleston Fire Department rescued a man and his granddaughter after their sailing vessel capsized twice in Charleston Harbor this week, authorities say.

Coast Guard Command Center Chief Derek Beatty said the rescue happened on Tuesday afternoon, when the Coast Guard and fire department were conducting a joint-training exercise on a 29-foot Coast Guard response boat.

Beatty said crews were passing by the Charleston Yacht Club and the Pilot's Station when the Coast Guardsmen spotted a girl waving her arms aboard a 12-foot sailing vessel.  Crews responded to the boat and found that a man in a life jacket was floating in the water, hanging onto the stern.

Two firefighters pulled the man from the water, who told them the boat capsized about two hours earlier.  The man said he was able to right the vessel and place his 12-year-old granddaughter aboard, but was unable to get out of the water due to exhaustion.

After some rest and water, Beatty said the man and his daughter attempted to sail back to the yacht club, but it capsized again.  Rescue crews were monitoring the situation and immediately got the duo out of the water and onto the dock.

Commander Brian LeFebvre, the response chief for Coast Guard Sector Charleston, stressed the importance that both boaters were wearing life jackets, "Accidents can happen on the water, even in good conditions, and wearing a life jacket is the most important precaution people can take to ensure a safe return."

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