Coast Guard continues search for possible distressed boaters

7th Coast Guard District NewsHUDSON BEACH, Fla. — Coast Guard and Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) rescue teams continue to search for five possible distressed boaters last heard hailing MAYDAY two miles north of Hudson Beach, Saturday.

Watchstaders at Coast Guard Sector St. Petersburg received a MAYDAY relay at 1 a.m., Saturday, from a commercial shrimp facility. The reporting source received several MAYDAY calls on VHF channel 9 from a vessel two miles north and five miles west of Hudson Beach. The distressed boaters – two adults and three children – claimed to be taking on water after striking a rock.

Sector St. Petersburg watchstanders immediately launched a boatcrew aboard a 45-foot Response boat Medium, from Coast Guard Station Sand Key, and an aircrew aboard an MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter from Coast Guard Air Station Clearwater.

Rescue crews are saturating an area between Hernando Beach and Hudson Beach. Currently assisting in the search are rescue vessels from FWC, two Coast Guard Auxiliary vessels, a 25-foot small boat from Station Sand Key and a Jayhawk’s aircrew.

“The MAYDAY relay was reported on VHF channel 9; all mariners need to utilize VHF channel 16 for hailing and distress,” said Petty Officer 1st Class Robert Davis, operations unit controller at Coast Guard Sector St. Petersburg.

All five boaters are reported to be wearing their life jackets. If anyone has any information regarding the incident or missing boaters in the area, please contact Coast Guard Sector St. Petersburg at (727) 824-7506.

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