Coast Guard rescues 3, tows disabled boat for 12 hours

A 45-foot Response Boat-Medium boat crew from Coast Guard Station Fort Myers Beach, Florida, tows a 54-foot fishing boat to Bowditch Point Park, Friday, Oct. 28, 2016. Coast Guard boat crews towed the boat for more than 12 hours after the boat lost steering capabilities 67 miles offshore. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Ashley J. Johnson

A 45-foot Response Boat-Medium boat crew from Coast Guard Station Fort Myers Beach, Florida, tows a 54-foot fishing boat to Bowditch Point Park, Friday, Oct. 28, 2016.  U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Ashley J. Johnson

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla.— The Coast Guard rescued three men Friday and conducted a 12-hour tow of a 54-foot commercial fishing boat 67 miles west of Sanibel.

At 5 p.m. Thursday, watch standers from Coast Guard Sector St. Petersburg received a call from the owner of A.P. Bells Seafood who stated one of their boats, the Karen Belle, was at risk of losing its rudder and taking on water.

A 45-foot Response Boat-Medium boat crew from Coast Guard Station Fort Myers Beach launched and put the boat in tow at 11 p.m. The boat crew reported 8-foot seas and 20-knot winds during the rescue. Another RB-M crew took over the tow at 9:20 a.m. Friday and transported the three men and their boat to Bowditch Point Park in Fort Myers Beach. No injuries were reported.

“We train every day for situations like this,” said Petty Officer 2nd Class Brittany Desaulniers, an officer of the day at the station. “The diligence of our crews and their training, coupled with the full cooperation of the Karen Bell crew, made this rescue a success.”

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