ST. PETERSBURG, Fla.— The Coast Guard rescued four people after a 75-foot boat sank, and the 32-foot boat it was towing took on water, 19 miles west of Egmont Key, Florida, Saturday.
At 7:20 a.m. watchstanders from Coast Guard Sector St. Petersburg, Florida, received a mayday call via VHF-FM marine band radio channel 16 reporting four people were aboard the 32-foot John Deer Green taking on water were unable to keep up with the flooding.
An MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter rescue air crew from Coast Guard Air Station Clearwater, Florida, and a 45-foot Response Boat-Medium boat crew from Coast Guard Station Cortez, Florida, were launched.
The air crew deployed a rescue swimmer and a dewatering pump to the John Deer Green and contained the flooding. The RB-M crew placed the boat in tow and transported the people and boat to Bradenton Beach marina.
The crew of the John Deer Green reported their boat had initially been towed by the 75-foot boat, Steel Kelly, until the Steel Kelly sank. The two people aboard the Steel Kelly were picked up by the two crewmembers aboard the John Deer Green. There were no reported injuries.
“At the first sign of trouble the crew called the Coast Guard,” said Petty Officer 2nd Class Brigitta Lambright, an officer of the day at the station. “They were all wearing life jackets and continuously updated us on their position which expedited our search. We recommend before going out on your boat, check the weather and ensure to get a free vessel safety check from a local Coast Guard Auxiliary flotilla.”