Coast Guard locates missing boaters near Florida Keys

KEY WEST, Fla. — The Coast Guard safely located two missing boaters Thursday 12 miles north of Marathon, Fla. Watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector Key West received a report early Thursday of two missing boaters who left Marathon on a 23-foot Mako to go fishing Wednesday, but failed to return as scheduled.

An HU-25 Falcon jet crew from Coast Guard Air Station Miami located the two boaters around 9 a.m. waving a towel. A Coast Guard smallboat crew from Station Marathon was a short distance away and once on scene, confirmed the two missing boaters to be unharmed. Their vessel had broken down Wednesday evening, but they did not have a radio onboard.

They were towed into the 33rd Street Boat Ramp–their original destination–by Coast Guard Station Marathon crewmembers.

Also assisting in the search were an MH-65 Dolphin helicopter crew from Air Station Miami and a Coast Guard Auxiliary aircraft crew.

The Coast Guard stresses the importance of having all necessary safety equipment including effective communications systems such as a VHF Radio or cell phone so requests for assistance can be made.

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