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Rescuers Tell Of High-Tech Vessel’s Role In Sea Rescue

Marine 41 Commissioned On Long Island

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MONTAUK, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) – As a high-tech boat was being commissioned Thursday on eastern Long Island, those involved in a dramatic rescue aboard the vessel last month were sharing their stories, CBS 2’s Jennifer McLogan reported.

After falling overboard, fisherman John Aldridge was plucked from the stormy sea 40 miles off the coast of Montauk in July. He was found holding on to his boots as he stayed afloat for 12 hours in shark-infested waters. Locating Aldridge was a collaborative effort between the U.S. Coast Guard, East End marine units and the Suffolk County Sheriff’s Office.

The vessel, the Marine 41, utilized night-vision cameras, sonar, chart plotters and state-of-the-art navigation before rescuing Aldridge. The multi-million-dollar boat was funded by the Office of Homeland Security.

“It takes a lot to be found out there,” Aldridge said. “Not many of us are found. So imagine … these guys with their GPSes. Yes, it is all the technology.”

Jason Walter, a senior officer with the U.S. Coast Guard, said it was “probably one of the most exciting times, that I was able to go out on our front porch of the station and tell the family that they had found John.”

The Marine 41 also can be a terrorist’s nightmare because it includes a device that can detect chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear and explosive weapons — which can be vital in tracking ships coming into port that could potentially be smuggling such items.

If the vessel detects hazardous materials, it becomes James Bond-like. It sounds an alarm, and the cabin is robotically sealed and pressurized as filtered air pours through. Being controlled remotely, it could then hose down and decontaminate the suspect vessel.

Marine 41 can also serve as a makeshift hospital.

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