Harrison County

Coast Guard rescues man stranded on Horn Island

The Coast Guard today rescued a man who was stranded on Horn Island.

A watchstander at Coast Guard Station Gulfport received a call at 12:20 a.m. from Melissa Cumberland, who said her husband, Thomas Cumberland, had gone fishing in an 18-foot boat and had not returned to the Popps Ferry Bridge boat launch in Back Bay Biloxi.

The Coast Guard launched a rescue helicopter from Mobile and crews from New Orleans, Pascagoula and Gulfport launched boats to search for Cumberland.

At about 3 a.m., the helicopter crew spotted a signal fire Cumberland had started on Horn Island.

"The fire Cumberland started helped us find him. As soon as we got into the search area we saw a flickering light through the night vision goggles about three to five miles away," said Petty Officer 3rd Class Caleb Flippin, an aviation survival technician stationed at Coast Guard Air Station New Orleans.

Cumberland was taken to Gulfport International Airport where he was met by his wife.

The Coast Guard would like to remind boaters that having and using emergency signaling devices such as flares, signaling mirrors, sound producing devices and registered 406mhz emergency position indicating radio beacons (EPIRBs) can help rescuers quickly spot and rescue boaters in distress.

Read more about this story in Friday's Sun Herald.

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