Coast Guard locates disabled boat with 5 people aboard

Southeastern Coast Guard NewsDESTIN, Fla. — A Coast Guard aircrew located a disabled 28-foot recreational craft with five people aboard approximatley 15 miles offshore Destin in the Gulf of Mexico Friday.

Watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector Mobile, Ala., received two mayday calls on channel 16 at approximately 2:30 p.m. from a 28-foot Grady White boat with five persons aboard, which were later located waving their arms to signal first responders. The boat reportedly lost power and became disabled.

Sector Mobile requested the launch of boatcrews from Coast Guard Station Destin, Coast Guard Aviation Training Center Mobile and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission to search for the vessel. Three radio frequency finders at Santa Rosa, Gulf Breeze and Pinnacle St. Joe picked up the signal from the disabled boat’s VHF-FM radio.

The aircrew located the boat and its passengers after the Coast Guard command center in Mobile was able to obtain a line of bearing from the Santa Rosa RFF. The aircrew vectored the location of the disabled boat to a nearby 48-foot good Samaritan sport fishing boat, which towed the boat to the Destin Harbor.

“This case was a successful combination of a fast response from our aircrew and the joint coordination of our local partners, the Fish and Wildlife Commission, and the good Samaritan,” said Lt. j.g. Timothy Williams, command duty officer for Sector Mobile. “The line of bearing from Rescue 21 resulted in the fast location and safe towing of the vessel.”

There were no reported injuries from the five people aboard the disabled vessel.

The Coast Guard recommends mariners have a VHF-FM marine-band radio on board set to channel 16 to signal distress. Mariners in distress are just a call away from help, since the Coast Guard monitors channel 16 at all times. Vessel safety checks can also be obtained for free by the Coast Guard Auxiliary.

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