Coast Guard rescues distressed scuba divers off Coki Point, St. Thomas

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SAINT THOMAS, U.S. Virgin Islands — A Coast Guard Boat Forces Detachment Saint Thomas crew rescued two divers in distress Thursday afternoon from the middle of the channel just off Coki Point, St. Thomas.

The rescued divers are a man, 57, and a woman, 21, reportedly tourists, who were spotted by the Coast Guard crew at approximately 1 p.m. during a routine patrol.

The Coast Guard crew, operating aboard a 33-foot Special Purpose Craft-Law Enforcement, turned on their blue lights during their approach to deter oncoming boat traffic from getting close to the divers.  Once alongside, the crew pulled both divers safely aboard and assessed that there were no medical emergencies.

“The crew was proficient in spotting two divers in distress with no dive flag, and were able to get them out of the water quickly to avoid vessel traffic in the middle of the channel,” said Petty Officer 2nd Class Andrew Koelle, Boat Forces Detachment Saint Thomas Coxswain for the case. “Both divers were physically exhausted and most likely would not have been able to swim to shore.  This case serves as a reminder to make sure you have the proper safety equipment, especially a dive flag or buoy marker to ensure boaters can see there are divers in the water and keep a safe distance.”
The Coast Guard crew transported both divers safely back to Coki Beach.