Today, May 8th, SpaceX teams were running through training along the coast. The United States Coast Guard (USCG) shared, SpaceX teams helped rescue a man in distress who drifted away from his boat for about 2 hours. “The good Samaritan vessel ‘Go Searcher’ rescued a 54-year old man who was reported in good condition and wearing a life jacket,” U.S Coast Guard wrote in a press release. “Good Samaritans participated in the search after hearing a Coast Guard urgent marine broadcast over VHF Marine Band Radio.”
“Coast Guard Sector Jacksonville received an emergency phone call at 11:20 a.m. from a disabled 27-foot center console boat reporting a boater had been pulled away by the current from the vessel while trying to remove fouling from the props.” The man was rescued by SpaceX’s Go Searcher at around 1:00 p.m. local time, near Port Canaveral in Florida.
SpaceX’s Go Searcher vessel is especially equipped for the role of recovering the Dragon spacecraft with astronauts after splashing down into the ocean. The ship features a medical treatment room and a helicopter landing pad, to aid astronauts upon returning from space. Go Searcher’s onboard medical facility can deliver on-site treatment.
SpaceX recovery teams used a smaller rescue boat that was onboard Go Searcher to approach the man in distress. “Coast Guard said SpaceX conducted an active search with the smaller boat on board ‘GoSearcher’ after the call went out. The SpaceX ship is built to recover spacecraft from the water, such as the company’s Cargo Dragon and Crew Dragon capsule,” CNBC reporter shared via Twitter.
USCG representatives wrote, “After the rescue, the man was transferred to Coast Guard Station Port Canaveral’s 45-ft Response Boat–Medium. He was transferred back to his vessel and towed to Jetty Park Marina,” U.S. Coast Guard stated.
“This is a perfect example of why you should wear a life jacket,” said Senior Chief Nathan Webb, a Sector Jacksonville Command Center Operations Specialist. “The combination of a life jacket and good Samaritan in the area made this response have a positive ending.”
In response to the rescue operation, the founder of SpaceX Elon Musk stated, “Glad we could help.”
SpaceX will conduct its first crewed flight in a couple weeks, on May 27th. NASA Astronauts Robert Behnken and Douglas Hurley will launch atop the company’s Falcon 9 rocket aboard the Crew Dragon spacecraft. Behnken and Hurley will come back from the International Space Station aboard Dragon by reentering Earth’s atmosphere and deploying a set of parachutes to soft-land into the ocean. SpaceX’s recovery teams will use the Go Searcher vessel to search and rescue them at sea upon mission completion.