ST. PETERSBURG, Fla.— The Coast Guard rescued five people from a disabled 28-foot fishing boat 60 miles northwest of Chassahowitzka River, Florida, Saturday.
At 3:07 p.m. watchstanders from Coast Guard Sector St. Petersburg received a call via VHF-FM marine band radio channel 16 from the captain of the fishing boat, Doggie Style, relaying a distress call from five people aboard the disabled 28-foot fishing boat, Bite Me. The five people were stranded and one person was in need of medical assistance; they were only able to communicate via marine band radio channel 68.
There were no boats in the immediate area able to render assistance.
An MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew from Coast Guard Air Station Clearwater, Florida, was launched, and deployed the rescue swimmer. Flight crew assessed the medical concerns on scene and determined no further medical assistance was required. The five people were hoisted into the helicopter and transported to the air station.
“We ask mariners to always have a working VHF marine band radio capable of monitoring and hailing on channel 16,” said Petty Officer 1st Class Kerry Looby, a search-and-rescue coordinator at the sector. “Channel 16 is the only channel the Coast Guard recognizes as the hailing and distress frequency.”