How did Coast Guard find this man who was lost at sea?

How did Coast Guard find this man who was lost at sea?

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How did Coast Guard find this man who was lost at sea?

A crewman on a container ship who fell overboard without anyone’s knowledge became a needle in a haystack for the Coast Guard off the Florida coast Wednesday morning.

But thanks to the eagle eyes of crew members aboard a rescue helicopter, Lorejei Moscoso was spotted five miles off Fort Lauderdale and was subsequently rescued by a 45-foot Response Boat, according to the Coast Guard.

It was nothing short of miraculous considering the 25-year-old Philippines national was not wearing a lifejacket, wasn’t clinging to any floatation objects, and had been missing for nearly three hours. He was found treading water.

“When you’re out on the water or in aircraft, you’re looking for something that’s about the size of a basketball floating in the water,” U.S. Coast Guard District 7 spokesman Jonathan Lally told BNQT. “And depending on the distance, obviously that’s going to make it bigger or smaller.”

Photos taken from the rescue helicopter give an idea of the difficulty in spotting Moscoso and show the amazingness of his rescue.

Moscoso was last seen by the crew of the 456-foot Liberian-flagged container ship Vega Sagittarius at 5:30 a.m. when he was lashing down some cargo, Lally told BNQT. At that point, the ship was seven or eight miles off Fort Lauderdale.

It wasn’t known when the ship’s crew noticed he was missing, but it notified the Coast Guard at 6:40 a.m., prompting a rescue effort to be launched.

“Our crews responded rapidly,” Lally told BNQT. “Our crews practice search and rescue every day. They did exactly what they’re trained to do.”

At 8:25 a.m. the Coast Guard spotted Moscoso.

Lally said it is not easy finding somebody in the water, which is why the Coast Guard recommends always wearing a lifejacket.

“It dramatically increases your chances of survival because the inflatable or the Type 3s, they’re brightly colored so it’s easier for rescue crews to be able to spot something in the water compared to if you didn’t have one on,” Lally told BNQT.

Moscoso was fortunate in that regard. He was lucky, too, that water temperatures off the Florida coast, reported to be 82 degrees by The Maritime Executive, was conducive to treading water for a longer period.

It also helped that the seas were relatively calm, making him that much more visible.

Undoubtedly, if not for a few things going in Moscoso’s favor, his story could have had a tragic ending. Instead, he’s lucky to be alive.

Top photo shows how difficult it was spotting Moscoso. Second photo shows the 45-foot Response Boat heading for the victim, as does the third and fourth photos. All photos courtesy of U.S. Coast Guard District 7.

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