2 boaters safe following jetty strike

Southeastern Coast Guard NewsATLANTIC BEACH, Fla. — Two boaters are safe Monday morning following an accident during which the 40-foot sailboat Secret Passion struck the jetty at the mouth of the St. John’s River off Atlantic Beach.

The men reported they had been underway for approximately 24 hours and were trying to avoid a freighter in the shipping channel when the sailboat reportedly became pinned between the ship and the jetty, eventually striking the rocks.

Upon learning of the incident about 4:40 a.m., a boatcrew aboard a 25-foot Response Boat – Small from Coast Guard Station Mayport in Atlantic Beach launched and arrived on scene shortly after. The boatcrew confirmed neither of the men was injured and checked the vessel for flooding. They found a small amount of water trickling in, but verified the vessel was not in danger of sinking.

The Coast Guardsmen instructed the sailors to anchor the Secret Passion while they waited for commercial salvage to arrive. The Coast Guard boatcrew remained on scene, and departed once the commercial salvage vessel arrived. The commercial salvage vessel is towing the Secret Passion to Sadler Point Marine Center in Jacksonville.

The Coast Guard is reminding boaters of the importance of remaining alert and aware of their surroundings at all times while operating any type of vessel, especially during times of darkness and limited visibility. Boaters who are unfamiliar with the areas in which they will be operating should also take time to study those areas before arriving and refer to nautical charts for navigational guidance while underway.

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