ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — The Coast Guard along with commercial salvage rescued four people approximately 13 miles west of Cedar Key Saturday.
Watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector St. Petersburg received an Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon (EPIRB) alert at 8:41 p.m., plotting an area with rough weather.
An MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew from Coast Guard Air Station Clearwater arrived on scene and located a swamped boat, with four people clinging to the hull.
A rescued swimmer was lowered to the boat to check the status of the people. Sea Tow arrived on scene, removed all four people from the water and transported them back to Cedar Key.
The Coast Guard has received a high amount of reports this weekend of mariners beset by weather, disabled or disorientated due to weather.
“The Coast Guard wants to remind boaters to always check the weather before leaving the dock,” said Petty Officer 2nd Class Omar Arrieta, a search and rescue watchstander at the sector. “Weather can deteriorate very quickly and catch a boater off guard. Continue to always have life jackets and proper safety equipment aboard your vessel, like an EPIRB and a VHF-FM radio, so if you are caught in severe weather, the Coast Guard can assist you quickly.”