Coast Guard, partner agencies save one, assist 11 others in Florida Keys

A 47-foot rescue boatcrew

USCG file photo

KEY WEST, Fla. – The Coast Guard, Customs and Border Protection, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, Tow Boat U.S. and other partner agencies in the Florida Keys responded to seven separate cases Monday night when high winds and seas beset the area.

Between the hours of 11:00 p.m. and 3:30 a.m., Coast Guard personnel responded to, among others, a mayday call from a vessel sinking near Bahia Honda State Park in Big Pine Key, Fla. with two people on board, a sailing vessel with its owner asleep onboard that broke free from its mooring and drifted into the Key West Harbor, and a 50-foot sailing catamaran with three people on board that struck the Long Key Bridge in Long Key, Fla.

Smallboat crews from Coast Guard Station Islamorada, Coast Guard Station Marathon, and Coast Guard Station Key West, as well as numerous partner agency vessels were involved in the responses, resulting in one life saved and 11 lives otherwise assisted, and no medical injuries reported.

The catamaran was removed from beneath the Long Key Bridge by a barge operating in the area and is currently anchored near the bridge with a broken mast and no power, awaiting further assistance from a friend.

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