Coast Guard, good Samaritan rescue 2 people taking on water off Tarpon Springs, Florida

Southeastern Coast Guard NewsTARPON SPRINGS, Fla. — Two people were rescued from a 65-foot boat taking on water 40 miles west of Tarpon Springs, Friday.

A member aboard the Joint Venture contacted Coast Guard Sector St. Petersburg watchstanders at 10:25 a.m., via VHF-FM channel 16 radio reporting he was taking on water and was in need of assistance.

A 45-foot Response Boat – Medium crew from Coast Guard Station Sand Key was launched and an MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew from Coast Guard Air Station Clearwater was diverted to assist.

Utilizing the GPS location provided by the electronic distress signal aboard the Joint Venture, the aircrew arrived on scene at 11:30 and lowered a rescue swimmer and a P6 dewatering pump. The rescue swimmer started the dewatering process and successfully dewatered the vessel. The RB-M crew from Station Sand Key arrived on scene with the vessel at noon to escort them to Tarpon Springs.

“When operating offshore, mariners should ensure they have multiple means of communicating distress,” said Petty Officer 2nd Class Andrew Diaz, a Sector St. Petersburg watchstander. The use of electronic distress signaling device is a vital piece of equipment in situations occurring outside of VHF-FM radio range.”

No injuries were reported and both people aboard were wearing their life jackets.

“The quick actions and experience of the rescue crew not only saved the people’s lives but also saved the boat,” said Lt. j.g. Michael Persun, command duty officer at Sector St. Petersburg.

The Coast Guard reminds all mariners, especially those traveling long distances, to carry an emergency position-indicating radio beacon aboard their vessel. In this case, the use of the EPIRB helped rescue crews locate the people in distress faster. The information provided from the EPIRB helps by allowing rescuers to quickly gather vital information about missing boaters, their vessel and their location, which results in faster rescues and increased chances of survival in distress situations.

Click here to read more information on EPIRBS and their advantages.

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