Dramatic Coast Guard Rescue Saves Dozen Lives from Foundering Freighter

Dramatic Coast Guard Rescue Saves Dozen Lives from Foundering Freighter

The U.S. Coast Guard swift­ly sprang into action on Wednes­day, res­cu­ing a dozen ter­ri­fied souls from a strick­en car­go ves­sel off the coast of the Vir­gin Islands. Pow­er­ful waves had bat­tered the 195-foot freighter Bon­nie G onto the jagged rocks, hol­ing its engine room below the waterline.

As seas roared and the wound­ed ship rapid­ly took on water, those aboard aban­doned ship to two life rafts and a lifeboat. Spot­ting their des­per­ate radio SOS, Coast Guard watch­standers in San Juan sprang into a race against time. Launch­ing a spe­cial pur­pose craft, the crew sped to the scene amid crash­ing waves.

Reach­ing the strand­ed mariners, the Coast Guard heroes car­ried all 12 sur­vivors to safe­ty at Crown Bay Mari­na. Though untouched by injury, all had endured a har­row­ing ordeal. With the freighter still threat­en­ing to spill its tox­ic car­go into the pris­tine waters, the dan­ger was far from over.

For onboard were a report­ed 13,000 gal­lons of fuel oil and 250 gal­lons of lubri­cants, plus six cars and car­go. Nowl­ist­ing per­ilous­ly, the Bon­nie G risked unleash­ing a marine pol­lu­tion dis­as­ter. Mov­ing swift­ly, the Coast Guard part­nered with local author­i­ties and spill respon­ders to eval­u­ate the loom­ing envi­ron­men­tal threat.

Coast Guard com­man­der Jose Diaz vowed, “One of our main pri­or­i­ties is to assess the pol­lu­tion risk and ensure haz­ardous chem­i­cals are removed as fast and safe­ly as pos­si­ble to pro­tect these waters.” In a race against time and tide, all efforts were focused on pre­vent­ing dam­age to the marine life and coastal habi­tats of the Vir­gin Islands.

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