Coast Guard rescues 6 boaters a mile west of Sarasota

The 24-foot pontoon boat that started sinking Sunday, June 4, 2017 with six people aboard near New Pass Inlet, Sarasota, Florida. A 29-foot Special Purpose Craft-Shallow Water boat crew from Coast Guard Station Cortez rescued the six people. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Brigitta Lambright)

The 24-foot pontoon boat that started sinking Sunday, June 4, 2017 with six people aboard near New Pass Inlet, Sarasota, Florida.  (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Brigitta Lambright)

SARASOTA, Fla. — The Coast Guard rescued six people Sunday after their boat started sinking near New Pass Inlet.

Rescued were:

  • Kevin Kost, 57, from Sarasota
  • Bill Eckert, 57, from Fairfield, Conn.
  • J.D. Smith, 57, from Philadelphia, Pa.
  • 14-year-old male from Sarasota
  • 13-year-old male from Sarasota
  • 17-year-old male from Philadelphia, Pa.

At 6:50 p.m. Sunday, watch standers at Coast Guard Station St. Petersburg received notification from Kost via VHF-FM marine band radio channel 22 stating his 24-foot pontoon boat was taking on water and they were in need of emergency assistance one mile west of New Pass Inlet.

A 29-foot Special Purpose Craft-Shallow Water boat crew from Coast Guard Station Cortez launched to assist.

The boat crew arrived at 7:20 p.m and rescued all six people aboard. The boat crew placed a beacon on the disabled boat to alert mariners transiting the area and transported the six boaters to the 10th Street Boat ramp in Sarasota.

No injuries were reported.

“When I arrived on scene, I was very happy to see all six boaters wearing their life jackets,” said Petty Officer 2nd Class Brigitta Lambright, crew member at Station Cortez. “It’s always a good idea to start your voyage with the life jacket already on – you don’t want to panic trying to find one during an emergency.”

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