Coast Guard rescues diver 75 miles offshore Myrtle Beach

June 1, 2024

CHARLESTON, S.C.— A U.S. Coast Guard Air Station Savannah aircrew rescued a 35-year-old male diver, Friday, after he drifted away from his vessel while diving 75 miles offshore Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.

Coast Guard District Seven command center watchstanders in Miami, Florida received a notification from an emergency GPS beacon around 1:50 p.m., activated by the dive boat crewmembers aboard the 28-foot vessel when he didn’t resurface.

Coast Guard District Seven command center watchstanders launched multiple air and surface crews to assist in the search efforts and developed search patterns near the diver’s last known position, based on the prevailing weather conditions. An aircrew from Coast Guard Air Station Savannah located the diver and deployed a rescue swimmer to hoist him into the helicopter. The aircrew safely transferred the diver to Cape Fear Regional Jetport, where EMS awaited.

“It was a miracle that our rescue swimmer spotted him while we were on the last leg of our sector search,” said Lt. Jeff Davis, Coast Guard Air Station Savannah aircraft commander. “The diver’s yellow surface marker buoy helped us spot him despite the rough seas and strong winds, which limited visibility.”

No medical concerns were reported.

On-scene weather consisted of eight to nine-foot seas, with winds coming from the north at 15 knots.

Coast Guard units that responded:

  • Coast Guard Air Station Elizabeth City HC-130 Hercules airplane aircrew
  •  Coast Guard Station Oak Island 45-foot Response Boat–Medium boat crew
  •  Coast Guard Air Station Savannah MH-65 Dolphin helicopter aircrew
  • Coast Guard Cutter Legare crew

The Coast Guard suggests the following practices to help increase recreational diver safety:

  •  Carry an emergency transmitter like a personal locator beacon in the event you get separated or experience distress.
  •  Plan the dive, ensure you have the appropriate gear, and conduct a safety check on the diving equipment.
  • · At depth, follow dive table parameters to prevent decompression sickness and air embolisms.
  •  Seek medical advice on your health concerns or medications taken prior to diving.
  •  Do not consume alcohol or drugs before diving.
  • Always dive with a buddy, qualified instructor, or experienced guide.
  •  Consider the marine weather forecast prior to heading out. Atlantic Hurricane Season runs from June 1 through November 30, and conditions on the water can change quickly with developing storm systems.
emergency GPS beacon
emergency GPS beacon
emergency GPS beacon
ELT tester
AIS Testing BT200
AIS Testing BT200
AIS Testing BT200
AIS Testing BT200
AIS Testing BT200
WST Antenna 420-100
WST Antenna MGAA SMA
WST Antenna 100-GAA-SMA-M
WST Cable 130-029
WST Cable 130-002
WST BT200 screen
WST BT200 screen