Coast Guard rescues 66-year-old male near Clearwater Pass

CLEARWATER, Fla. – The Coast Guard rescued a 66-year-old male boater Tuesday at about 4 p.m., after his vessel began taking on water 14 miles west of Clearwater Pass, Fla.

Coast Guard Sector St. Petersburg, Fla., watchstanders received a call from Elaine Gamache reporting that her husband Gregory Gamache was out testing the engine of his 33-foot-Bertram and failed to return home at noon. Shortly after, watchstanders received notification of Gamache’s Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon (EPIRB) signal going off in the same vicinity as his float plan suggested he would be.

The Coast Guard launched an HH-60 Jayhawk rescue helicopter crew from Air Station Clearwater, Fla., a 47-foot motor-life-boat crew and a 25-foot response boat crew from Coast Guard Station Sand Key, in Clearwater. The rescue helicopter crew quickly located Gamache at 3:50 p.m. and the 25-foot response boat crew safely recovered Gamache and transferred him to Station Sand Key. Gamache reported to Coast Guard officials that while conducting engine checks, he struck a submerged object causing the vessel to sink rapidly.

Gamache was reported to be in good condition.

The Coast Guard was able to quickly and safely respond to Gamache due in part to the EPIRB onboard his vessel and the float plan he filed with his wife. The Coast Guard recommends mariners to file a float plan with a family member or friend, have emergency equipment on board, including an EPIRB and VHF marine radio, and wear the appropriate lifejackets.

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