Coast Guard rescues 12 people and 2 pets in Louisiana as Barry rolls in

NEW ORLEANS - The Coast Guard and local agencies rescued 12 people and two pets from flooded areas of Terrebonne Parish in Louisiana, Saturday. 

Watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector New Orleans received the first call for assistance at 4:30 a.m. Air Station New Orleans launched an MH-65 Dolphin helicopter aircrew, and Coast Guard Marine Safety Unit Morgan City boat crew members assisted as on-scene coordinators during the early morning response, rescuing 11 people and two pets.

Later in the morning, the Coast Guard responded to a distress call from a 77-year-old man in Dulac, Louisiana, who was trapped in his home in four feet of water. Aircrews responded, hoisted the man and transported him to safety.

An area command was established Friday at Coast Guard Base New Orleans and remains fully staffed and operational. Coast Guard aircraft remain pre-staged at Air Station New Orleans, Air Station Houston and Aviation Training Center Mobile, Alabama. Three shallow water response teams are in Covington, Louisiana, two are in Alexandria, Louisiana, and one team is en route to Terrebonne Parish. The Coast Guard Gulf Strike Team, and crews from Station New Orleans, Tactical Law Enforcement Team South, and Maritime Safety and Security Team Kings Bay, Georgia, are pre-staged in Slidell. 

Hurricanes and tropical storms can be deadly, and the Coast Guard’s ability to conduct rescues diminishes as storms approach and may be non-existent at the height of storms. The public should be prepared, stay informed and heed storm warnings.

People in distress should use 911 to request assistance whenever possible. Social media should not be used to report life-threatening distress due to limited resources to monitor the dozens of social media platforms during a hurricane or large-scale rescue event.

The U.S. Coast Guard contributed to this report.