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Coast Guard rescues 82-year-old man injured at sea

By ErinPradia
Oct. 14, 2011 at 5:14 a.m.
Updated Oct. 15, 2011 at 5:15 a.m.

Bob Giles is airlifted by the Coast Guard after suffering a head injury while participating in a boat race Friday morning. He was airlifted to Citizens Medical Center in Victoria.

The Coast Guard received a call Friday morning from sailors reporting an injured crew member on their sailboat.

"The Cache," owned by Bob Giles, 82, of Houston, was one of 176 sailboats competing in the 25th annual Harvest Moon Regatta race from Galveston to Port Aransas, said Andrea Todaro, co-chairman of the Regatta.

The Harvest Moon Regatta is the longest point to point race in the country, measuring 150 miles, Todaro said.

About 9 a.m., the Coast Guard received a call that Giles had been injured, said Coast Guard Lt. Steven Vanderlaske.

It was later determined Giles went on deck of his 50-foot sailboat and was struck in the head by a pole, Todaro said.

The Coast Guard crew reached the sailboat about 20 miles off the Matagorda Jetties, said Petty Officer 2nd Class Matthew Hernandez, who was part of the rescue team.

"When we got out there, there were six people on their boat," Hernandez said. "One of the men had a head injury. The crew on their boat bandaged it to stop the bleeding."

Two of the Coast Guard crew members boarded the "Cache" to further administer first aid.

When Giles was stabilized, he was transported to the 41-foot Coast Guard utility boat.

On the way back to shore, the utility boat was met by a helicopter to fly Giles to Victoria.

Giles was transported to Citizens Medical Center in Victoria. He was treated at the hospital and was expected to be released Saturday, Todaro said.

"The sailboat crew did a good job of providing first aid until we were able to get on scene," Hernandez said. "This is a prime example of how being a prepared mariner and using VHF-FM marine channel 16 can help the Coast Guard to quickly and safely provide assistance to mariners in distress."

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