Stranded Boater Rescued by SpaceX Recovery Vessel During Trial Runs

GO Searcher was practicing how to retrieve spacecraft from the sea when it found a stranded boater instead.
Derya Ozdemir

SpaceX is on schedule: the company is preparing for its first crew launch that is to lift off later this month. In order to make it run as smoothly as possible, SpaceX's fleet of recovery vessels is performing trial runs to make sure no crew or spacecraft is left behind in water upon landing. Now, amid one of the ocean recovery drills, the SpaceX recovery team rescued a stranded boater. 

GO Searcher is a 167-foot (51 m long) ship and is one of the vessels that will pull the Crew Dragon spacecraft from the water, and it will actually be the primary recovery vessel for the crew missions.

The event escalated on Friday, May 8. On the day of the accident, GO Searcher was running trials when the marine radio announced a call about a stranded boater. The crews were quick to pull the man from the water, and the rescue mission happened around 1 PM, Teslarati reports


Apparently, the U.S. Coast Guard had reported receiving the distress call at 11:20 AM. The call stated that the boater was trying to remove fouling from the props of the boat when the current pulled the man away.

In order to reach the man, the Coast Guard Station Port Canaveral, Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission teamed up with the Brevard County Sheriff's Office. GO Searcher joined the mix, and the trio was able to locate the boater, who was actually wearing a life jacket and was in good condition.

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The boater was transferred to a Coast Guard ship after being pulled out of the water.

Talk about a trial run! This unexpected accident probably mirrored what the crew will face during the upcoming Demo-2 mission.