NEW ORLEANS (HPD) — Two crew members from a capsized fishing boat and one other person were repelling sharks in Gulf of Mexico waters when another boat came to their rescue off the coast of Louisiana, the U.S. Coast Guard said.
The Coast Guard launched a search operation after a family member reported that three people had not returned home after going out fishing Saturday afternoon.
The 24-foot (7.3-meter) fishing vessel capsized around 10 a.m. Saturday, leaving the three people without communication devices, the Coast Guard said in a news release.
All three were wearing life jackets and one was showing signs of hypothermia when they were rescued Sunday about 25 miles (40.2 kilometers) offshore off Empire, Louisiana, a small community southeast of New Orleans.
According to the statement, the crew of a Coast Guard vessel saw two people repelling sharks and both had injuries to their hands. The crew pulled them out of the water and they were loaded onto a helicopter. The crew of the aircraft removed the third person from the sea.
The two injured were taken to University Medical Center in New Orleans, where they are in stable condition. The Coast Guard did not release their names.
“If the relative hadn’t notified the Coast Guard, and if these three boaters hadn’t been wearing their life jackets, the outcome would have been very different,” said Lt. Cmdr. Kevin Keefe, a Coast Guard search and rescue mission coordinator. Coastal in New Orleans.
According to the statement, Coast Guard crews aboard two boats, two planes and a helicopter searched 1,250 square miles (3,237.5 square kilometers) of water, an area slightly larger than Rhode Island.