Coast Guard rescues 2 missing jet skiers in Tampa Bay

A 29-foot Response Boat Small-II boat crew from Station St. Petersburg, Florida, moors at Gandy Boat Ramp, Tampa, Florida, Thursday, March 9, 2017. The boat crew rescued two jet skiers after they went missing in Tampa Bay. (U.S. Coast Guard photo)

A 29-foot Response Boat Small-II boat crew from Station St. Petersburg, Florida, moors at Gandy Boat Ramp, Tampa, Florida, Thursday, March 9, 2017.  (U.S. Coast Guard photo)

TAMPA, Fla.— The Coast Guard rescued two missing jet skiers Thursday in the Tampa Bay.

At 8:35 p.m. watch standers at Coast Guard Sector St. Petersburg received a 911 transfer call from Hillsborough County Dispatch of a jet skier stating two other jet skiers had gone missing. The three jet skiers were south of the Gandy Bridge, when one jet ski became disabled. The caller had left to go to shore for a tow line and when he came back the other two were missing.

An MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew from Coast Guard Air Station Clearwater, and a 29-foot Response Boat Small-II crew from Coast Guard Station St. Petersburg were launched to commence the search.

At 9:45 p.m. the Jayhawk crew located the missing jet skiers in the bay and directed the rescue boat crew to the location. The boat crew transported the men and the jet skis to Gandy Boat Ramp.

“It is very important to have a VHF radio on board any vessel when out on the water,” said Petty Officer 2nd Class Matthew Bonneau, an operations specialist at the sector. “When in a group of boats, the most important thing is to stay together and communicate for assistance.”

Tampa Police Department aided in the search.

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