Coast Guard assists boater near Everglades National Park

KEY WEST, Fla. – The Coast Guard received a call around 8:30 a.m. Monday of a 32-foot sailing vessel with one person aboard taking on water and anchored 17 miles west of Everglades National Park.

file photo

The operator of the sailing vessel, a 62-year-old male, reported that the battery-operated bilge pump and radio onboard the vessel were solar-powered and that the solar panel had been damaged and was unable to recharge. He also reported 10-foot seas in the area and that the sailing vessel was slowly taking on water through the stuffing tubes in the hull.

Coast Guard search-and-rescue coordinators from Sector Key West responded immediately by launching an MH-65 Dolphin helicopter crew from Coast Guard Air Station Miami and diverting the Coast Guard Cutter Drummond crew to assist as needed.

The Dolphin helicopter crew extracted the boater from the sailing vessel and flew him back to Air Station Miami where he was transferred to local Emergency Medical Services. EMS evaluated the patient and he was transferred to the VA Hospital in Miami for further care.

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