Connecticut Ham Uses Radio to Help Rescue Young Canoeist
Connecticut radio amateur Keith Mutch, KB1RBI, of Torrington, was on Ocean Beach looking out over New London Harbor the evening of May 4 when he spotted a young girl and her dog in distress in a canoe. The unidentified 12-year-old, not wearing a life vest, was attempting to paddle through rough water and increased winds when she got into difficulty.
Unable to contact authorities via his cell phone, Mutch used his hand-held transceiver to reach the US Coast Guard, which, in turn, alerted the a nearby passenger ferry to be on the lookout for the girl. In the interim, the canoe capsized. Fortunately the ferry located the youngster, and the crew tossed her a life ring to cling to until a vessel from Coast Guard Station New London arrived to complete her rescue.
The dog swam nearly a mile back to land, where, coincidentally, Mutch was able to grab the dog’s leash and reunite the dog with the girl and her family.
A ceremony at New London City Hall honored those involved in the rescue. On May 20, Connecticut State Rep Ernest Hewett, New London Mayor Daryl Justin Finizio, and the City Council recognized Mutch, members of the Coast Guard and the crew of Cross Sound Ferry’s MV John H. for their roles in saving the girl. The Coast Guard also presented certificates to Mutch and the ferry crew. — From media accounts