Coast Guard and Navy responding to assist mariners

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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Crewmembers from Coast Guard Station Mayport and a Navy helicopter crew are currently assisting two mariners approximately 12 miles east of the St. Johns River entrance in Jacksonville, Fla.

Watchstanders in the Coast Guard Sector Jacksonville command center were notified via VHF channel 16 of two mariners drifting aboard the 37-foot sailing vessel Vicarious, at 5:30 p.m. Both mariners, aged 68 and 72, reported they were disabled and unable to set the sails for their vessel due to exhaustion stemming from their four-day transit. Neither of the mariners reported any injuries. Weather conditions offshore have prevented commercial assistance.

Coast Guardsmen from Station Mayport launched aboard a 45-foot Response Boat-Medium at 6 p.m. The crew arrived on scene at 6:55 p.m., and attempted to tow the vessel but couldn’t due to on scene weather conditions. A Navy helicopter crew was diverted and arrived on scene at 7 p.m. The helicopter crew offered to assist with communications and potential hoists if necessary. Sector Jacksonville command center personnel also recalled members assigned to the Coast Guard Cutter Diamondback, an 87-foot Coastal Patrol Boat, to launch and assist with towing operations. A second RB-M crew from Station Mayport is on standby to assist if needed.

On scene weather conditions include eight-foot seas and 20 to 25-knot winds.

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