Coast Guard locates two overdue boaters near Longboat Pass

Coast Guard District 7 NewsCLEARWATER, Fla. — Two overdue boaters have been found safe aboard their 18-foot recreational vessel approximately 11 miles west of Longboat Pass, Fla., Sunday morning.

A Coast Guard MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter found the two men stranded on their disabled vessel as they used a flashlight to draw the Jayhawk crews attention.

Watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector St. Petersburg, Fla., were notified Sunday morning by one of the missing boaters daughter stating that her father and another man had gone out fishing Saturday morning but hadn’t returned home. She also stated that her father called her mother stating he was having engine problems Saturday evening.

Coast Guard Air Station Clearwater launched an MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew who searched two separate patterns prior to locating the individuals. Coast Guard Station Cortez launched a 45-foot Response Boat – Medium boatcrew. Once the Jayhawk located the missing people, the RB-M boatcrew got on scene, transferred the two men aboard the RB-M and towed the disabled vessel to Coquina Key Boat Ramp where their family was waiting.

No injuries were reported.

The Coast Guard recommends filing a written float plan with a family member or friend prior to getting underway and also attending a Coast Guard Auxiliary safe boating course. Prompt notification to the Coast Guard of overdue boaters can greatly expedite rescue operations.

An example of a float plan can be found at http://floatplancentral.org.

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