Coast Guard, good Samaritan rescue two after vessel capsizes off Anclote Key

7th Coast Guard District NewsST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – The Coast Guard and a good Samaritan rescued two people from an overturned vessel southwest of Anclote key, Thursday.

Watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector St. Petersburg received a report at 8:15 a.m., via VHF channel 16, from boaters Julio Martinez, 40, and Ivan Martinez, 49, both from Lutz, Fla., reporting their 20-foot Sea Craft was taking on water two miles southwest of Anclote Key. The men reported their vessel’s pumps were keeping up with the rate of flooding. Shortly thereafter, an additional report was made, with the men stating they were going down, before radio communications were lost.

At approximately 8:26 a.m., Sector received a cell phone call from the boaters, via 911 relay, reporting they were sitting atop their vessel, which had capsized.

A crew from Coast Guard Station Sand Key immediately launched a 25-foot Response Boat-Small, heading toward the last known position reported, and confirmed by GPS coordinates relayed from Martinez’cell phone. A good Samaritan and a Towboat U.S. crew were already onscene when the RB-S crew arrived at 9 a.m., and assisted in the safe transfer of the men from their overturned vessel to the Coast Guard vessel

The two men were transported to the Anclote Key Boat Ramp. The capsized vessel was salvaged by Towboat U.S.

No injuries have been reported.

Editor’s Note: As the Memorial Day weekend approaches the Coast Guard urges boaters to stay safe and use extra care while out on the water.

Coast Guard and numerous local law enforcement crews will be patrolling, conducting safety checks and watching for people boating while intoxicated or operating vessels in an unsafe manner. The public should be aware of their surroundings, including watching the weather and understanding the hazards of boating under the influence of alcohol.

“Taking simple precautions before going out on the water can mean the difference between a fun, safe day on the water and ending up in a life or death situation,” said Capt. Sheryl Dickinson, Commander of Coast Guard Sector St. Petersburg. “Always check the weather, wear your lifejackets, know your boating limits, file a float plan with a friend or family member and bring emergency signaling devices with you out on the water.”

Additional information on safe and secure boating practices can be found at the Coast Guard’s Office of Boating Safety page at http://www.uscgboating.org/ or by calling (800) 368-5647.

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