Video of U.S. Coast Guard rescuing mariner falsely linked to cyclone Biparjoy

By: Ishita Goel
June 14 2023

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Video of U.S. Coast Guard rescuing mariner falsely linked to cyclone Biparjoy


The Verdict False

The incident captured in the video took place near the mouth of the Columbia River in North America in February 2023. It is not related to Biparjoy.

Claim ID 18b68a15

Tens of thousands of people have been evacuated, and a red alert has been issued in several coastal districts of Gujarat as cyclone Biparjoy advances towards the western Indian state and southern Pakistan. Now categorized as a “very severe cyclonic storm” by the India Meteorological Department(IMD), the cyclone is expected to hit Gujarat in the Kutch district tomorrow evening. According to news reports, several trains have been canceled, and several National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) teams have been deployed in Gujarat in view of the cyclone.

Against this backdrop, several visuals are being shared online with false and misleading claims about the cyclone. A viral video on social media shows a bird-eye view of a vessel in distress in the middle of a large waterbody and a man swimming towards it. A huge wave hits the ship and overturns it completely. Some users shared the video, claiming it was captured in Pakistan and some claimed it was from Gujarat. "Cyclone biparjoy dust storm.lashes thatta city of sindh", and "Current speed of #CycloneBiparjoy is 165 km/h #Gujaratcyclone #Storm #Gujarat" are some of the kinds of captions the video is being shared with on Twitter. 

In Fact
Logically Facts found that the viral video is from February 2023 and is not related to cyclone Biparjoy. 

The United States Coast Guard Pacific Northwest had tweeted the viral video on its official account on February 4, 2023. The video was shared in a thread and was captioned: "The surf made rescue by boat dangerous, so the aircrew decided to lower the rescue swimmer and have the owner enter the water for rescue..." The four-tweet thread described the rescue efforts for ‘Sandpiper’— a vessel that experienced difficulties near the mouth of the Columbia River (the largest river in the Pacific Northwest region of North America). "As he entered the water, the vessel capsized, but the rescue swimmer was able to safely recover the individual. He was flown back to Coast Guard Base Astoria, where EMS was waiting to evaluate and treat the man," the following tweet said.

On February 3, 2023, the United States Coast Guard News had also published a report on the incident along with an extended version of the viral video. The headline of the report read: "Coast Guard rescues mariner in distress as wave capsizes vessel near mouth of Columbia River." The viral clip can be seen at the 0:11 mark in the video shared in the report. The report also said that the incident occurred on February 3, when Sector Columbia River watchstanders received a MAYDAY call from the Sandpiper and eventually saved the mariner even as a breaking wave capsized his ship.

Associated Press also published the video on YouTube on February 4 and wrote, "A U.S. Coast Guard video captured a dramatic rescue showing a swimmer approaching a boat as heavy waves hit off Washington and Oregon."

The Verdict
A video showing the U.S. Coast Guard crew rescuing a distressed mariner near the mouth of North America's Columbia River is being wrongly shared with the claim that cyclone Biparjoy caused high tides and overturned the boat in Gujarat or Pakistan. The incident is from February 2023 and has no connection to Biparjoy. 

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We rely on information to make meaningful decisions that affect our lives, but the nature of the internet means that misinformation reaches more people faster than ever before