Cleanup worker rescued after 6 hours in the Gulf - - The News for South Mississippi

Cleanup worker rescued after 6 hours in the Gulf

(Photo source: U.S. Coast Guard) (Photo source: U.S. Coast Guard)

NEW ORLEANS (WLOX) - A man taking part in the Gulf cleanup operation had to be rescued from the oily water Monday.

Sometime around 3am, the vessel Philip Allen McCall radioed to nearby vessels that Ricky Johnson, 49, was missing 50 miles off the coast of Venice, Louisiana. The crew assumed he had fallen overboard.

About three hours later, a Coast Guard helicopter out of New Orleans and a C-144 Casa airplane from Mobile, Alabama joined in the search.

Then, around 9am, the vessel C-Escort spotted Johnson and relayed his position to the aircraft. Johnson first tried to climb aboard the C-Escort but, after several hours adrift in the Gulf of Mexico, was too weak to climb the vessel's ladder.

A Coast Guard rescue swimmer descended from the Dolphin helicopter and assisted Johnson into a rescue basket so he could be hoisted aboard and transported to West Jefferson Hospital for treatment. His condition is unknown at this time.

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