Coast Guard rescues 6 people, 1 dog from waters near Key West

Coast Guard 45-foot Response Boat-Medium file photo

Coast Guard Station Key West 45-foot Response Boat-Medium file photo

KEY WEST, Fla. — The Coast Guard rescued six people and one dog from the water near Key West after their vessel capsized Tuesday morning.

Watchstanders at the Coast Guard Sector Key West Command Center received a mayday call from a vessel in the vicinity of Key West reporting they were taking on water at approximately 4 a.m. The watchstanders directed the launch of a Coast Guard Station Key West 45-foot Response Boat—Medium crew to assist the vessel. Around the same time as the mayday call, the Coast Guard 7th District Command Center watchstanders received an emergency position indicating radio beacon (EPIRB) alert in the area of the distressed vessel.

The station crew arrived on scene after observing a spotlight hailing their vessel and upon arriving at the source, they rescued six people from the water and one dog.

All occupants of the vessel were accounted for and confirmed that they were the source of the mayday call and EPRIB activation. They were transported to Station Key West for transfer to local emergency medical services with no injuries were reported.

“This case really highlights the importance of having emergency equipment on board,” said Chief Warrant Officer Matthew Caviness, command duty officer for Sector Key West, “The activation of the EPIRB was critical in the Station Key West crew locating all individuals in the water when we lost communication with the vessel.”

The Coast Guard reminds boaters of the importance of carrying life-saving emergency distress equipment. While many boaters rely on cell phones for emergency communications on the water, personal locator beacons are much more reliable in the marine environment. The Coast Guard highly recommends all mariners equip their boats with Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacons and/or their life jackets with Personal Locator Beacons.

The Coast Guard also recommends boaters download the Coast Guard’s free boating safety mobile app which provides the essential boating safety services and information most commonly requested by boaters. The boating safety mobile app is available on the Apple and Google Play online stores.

For more information on the app, please visit http://www.uscg.mil/mobile.

Additional information on boating safety and resources can be found at www.uscgboating.org or www.safeboatingcampaign.com.

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