[UPDATE 11:25 p.m.] Vessel in Distress off the Coast of Shelter Cove


Blurry lights show the Coast Guard helicopter flying overhead along the shore. [Photo from a reader.]

A Coast Guard helicopter and Shelter Cove Fire are searching the shoreline near Black Sands Beach after they received the report of a vessel in distress about 9:10 p.m. As of 10:20 p.m. the vessel has not been located.

UPDATE 10:41 p.m.: Keri Clock, a resident of the area tells us, “Looks like Coast Guard was called off. They are leaving. I hope whoever needed help is ok.”

UPDATE 10:46 p.m.: Good news! When Shelter Cove fire and the Coast Guard helicopter got on scene, they discovered that what had been reported as a vessel in distress was actually, according to a Coast Guard spokesperson, “A strobe light attached to some fishing gear.”

Thank you to the volunteers and the Coasties for being on the spot.

UPDATE 11:05 p.m.: Autumn Hargrave, a Shelter Cove resident and wife of a volunteer firefighter wrote this about the adventure,

A tiny terrified brave little strobe light was rescued tonight from the storm driven icy waters of Shelter Cove. The brave little light was not alone. There was also a buoy. Our very own Shelter Cove Fire Department braved the brief break in the storm to respond to a vessel in distress call. After a fearless and relentless search, the little strobe light and her buoy friend were safe in the arms of our firefighters. So simmer down out there mateys, all is right as rain in the Cove once again. Thank you Shelter Cove Fire Department for another fine rescue.

UPDATE 11:25 p.m.: Cheryl Antony spokesperson for the Shelter Cove Fire Department wrote,

A resident spotted a distress signal out in the water about 9 P.M. We were not sure what it was and how many people were involved. So we lit up the shore around Abalone Point with all of our equipment and also had called the Coast Guard. Our Ocean Rescue Team could not go out in the dark. The Coast Guard sent out a message on the Marine Channel for any vessels in the area to come and help with the rescue. The waves were huge and as we watched, the “vessel” kept getting closer and closer. The Coast Guard helicopter was still over 15 minutes out when a huge wave flipped the “vessel”—-which , thankfully, turned out to be a large buoy with a signal on it. No people. !!!!!!! Yea !!!
Our guys searched the shoreline to be sure, and then the Coast Guard helicopter searched up and down the coast just to be sure we did not miss anything. We were really lucky to have a low tide. The waves remained really huge as we returned to the station, but the sky was just absolutely beautiful with stars mixed with floating clouds.
Thank you Coast Guard!!!!!



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