ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — The Coast Guard rescued a disabled boater Friday 25 miles west of Egmont Key.
At 8:19 p.m., watchstanders from Coast Guard Sector St. Petersburg received a 911 call from a concerned wife, stating her husband didn’t return as expected. The wife said he departed Palma Sola Thursday to fish offshore and planned to return at 5 p.m.
Using the details of her husband’s float plan, an HH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew from Coast Guard Air Station Clearwater and a boatcrew aboard a 45-foot Response Boat-Medium from Coast Guard Station Cortez launched to search.
While search crews were en route to the scene, watchstanders from the Coast Guard Sector St. Petersburg Command Center received a call via VHF-FM marine radio channel 16 from a good Samaritan who was on scene with the woman’s husband. The good Samaritan stated the husband’s boat was disabled and in need of assistance 23 miles off Bean Point.
Both Coast Guard rescue crews were on scene with the disable boater at 10:07 p.m. While the aircrew flew overhead, the boatcrew secured a tow line to the boat and began the tow. The tow was transferred to TowBoatUS at 12:28 a.m. Friday where he was taken back to Palma Sola boat ramp.
“This is a testament to how important it is to have a float plan before you get underway,” said Petty Officer 1st Class Donna Petty, a watchstander at Sector St. Petersburg’s command center. “We were able to get on scene quickly to rescue him because he told his wife where he was going and when he’d be back.”