Coast Guard rescues father and son on Lake Okeechobee

MIAMI — The Coast Guard rescued a father and son on Lake Okeechobee, Fla., Monday afternoon.

Watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector Miami received a report at 2:46 p.m., of a 17-foot bass boat overturned on Lake Okeechobee.

An MH-65 Dolphin helicopter crew from Coast Guard Air Station Miami immediately launched. Once on scene, the Dolphin helicopter crew safely hoisted Fred Herron, 33, and Chris Rabold, 15, both from Miami and transferred them to the Belle Glade Hospital where they were listed in stable condition.

The Coast Guard is urging the maritime community and boating public to monitor weather conditions before deciding to go out on the water.

The Coast Guard reminds boaters to follow these 10 simple steps to be safe and responsible on the water:

  1. Always wear your life jacket.
  2. Avoid mixing alcohol and boating.
  3. Check your flares, fire extinguisher and other safety equipment to be certain it is in good condition and up-to-date. The Coast Guard Auxiliary and U.S. Power Squadrons offer free vessel safety checks that can help identify these or any other potential programs. Know your boat and its passengers.
  4. Familiarize yourself with an online weather service so it becomes a routine part of your pre-departure planning. Knowing potential conditions before you go makes float planning easier. The National Weather Service broadcasts marine weather forecasts regularly. Tune your VHF marine radio to 162.4 MHz or log onto the National Weather Service website at: www.nws.noaa.gov.
  5. Tell a friend, family member or marina harbormaster where you are going and file a float plan. If you change plans, let them know.
  6. Purchase an emergency positioning indicating radio beacon, or EPIRB. Register it with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Registration is mandatory, improves response and reduces false alarms. It can also be completed online at www.beaconregistration.noaa.gov.
  7. Keep updated navigational charts on your boat and use them.
  8. Register your marine radio and obtain a free MMSI number that is assigned to a DSC radio.
  9. Shut off your engines when approaching swimmers or divers.
  10. Take at least one certified boating safety course.

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