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Coast Guard rescues five at Cape Zampa

Date Posted: 2009-04-02

High winds and waves set the stage for a weekend midnight rescue by the 11th Maritime Coast Guard as it responded to a “Please help us” cellular phone call off the coast at Cape Zampa.

A party of five people, one of them a seven-year-old child, had become stranded on a rocky stretch exposed by the low tide. The five, all from Uruma City, had gone shellfish gathering, taking advantage of the day on the lunar calendar. They’d gone to the area by boat, but the high winds and waves prevented their return to land near the Zampa Royal Hotel.

The Coast Guard successfully rescued the five by helicopter, with the last of the group plucked off the rocks shortly after midnight.

Coast Guard officials say high wind warnings had been posted, but the group took the boat and went outside Cape Zampa anyway. The official notes that 13 people were trapped at the same site two years ago, with tides moving so rapidly rescuers couldn’t get to everyone in time. Two people died in that incident.

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