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Coast Guard hero featured on NBC's TODAY grew up in Carlsbad

Coast Guard hero featured on NBC’s TODAY grew up in Carlsbad

A U.S. Coast guard pilot who grew up in Carlsbad appeared on NBC’s TODAY for her role in a miraculous rescue over the weekend, according to Carlsbad Mayor Dale Janway’s daily blog.

Today, the mayor recognized Lt. Katy Caraway, who served as U.S. Coast Guard Air Station New Orleans co-pilot in the rescue.

The rescue involved three men whose capsized boat left them stranded for 28 hours in the Gulf of Mexico.

As reported in the national television show, the men were out fishing off the coast of Louisiana Saturday morning when their boat capsized in rough waters. A family reported them missing, but rescuers didn’t know where exactly to search.

A search by land and sea came up empty until Sunday. One of the men lost at sea managed to get a phone signal and, with just 5 percent battery to spare in the phone, he sent off a text to a friend with a screenshot from Apple Maps of his approximate location.

That map was shared with the Coast Guard, and with some additional investigation rescuers were able to locate the men alive within an hour about 25 miles offshore from Empire, Louisiana.

During 28 hours floating at sea, two of the men clung on to ice chests while enduring cold temperatures, rough waters and fending off sting rays and sharks.

Lt. Caraway was in the chopper during the rescue, helping guide a rescue boat to the men’s exact location.

“What saved their lives was these prepared mariners,” she said. “You guys had those life jackets. You tied two coolers together to remain afloat for almost 30 hours, and that’s just incredible. And we feel great to bring you all home to your family.”