Connecticut ham uses radio to save girl's life

On 5th May 2014, Keith Mutch KB1RBI of Torrington, CT was on Ocean Beach looking out over New London harbor when he spotted an unidentified 12 year old girl and her dog, in distress as she attempted to paddle her canoe in the rough waters and increased winds on Long Island Sound.

Mutch quickly attempted to contact the U.S. Coast Guard with his cell phone, only to find that device did not have reception.  Of course, When All Else Fails.....Mutch turned to his handheld amateur radio.

Mutch, a Technician Class licensee, was able to communicate with the Coast Guard who alerted the nearby cross sound passenger ferry "John H" to be on the look out for the girl. Meanwhile the canoe in which the girl and dog were paddling had capsized.

The ferry located the girl and the crew began "Man Overboard" procedures, tossing her a life ring, which she clung to until a boat crew from Coast Guard Station New London arrived to complete her rescue.

The dog swam 3/4 of a mile back to land, where ironically,  Keith Mutch spotted him. Mutch says that he chased the German Shepherd up and down the beach for more than a half hour before being able to grab the leash and calm the animal. Mutch contacted the Coast Guard and he was able to reunite the dog with the girl's family.

A ceremony at New London City Hall honored those involved in the rescue.  The boat crews from the ferry and the Coast Guard received commendations

Nevada Amateur Radio Newswire  -