Coast Guard rescues man after sailboat capsizes during boat race

29-foot Response Boat-Small U.S. Coast Guard file photo)

29-foot Response Boat-Small U.S. Coast Guard file photo

FORT MYERS BEACH, Fla. — The Coast Guard rescued a boater after his 20-foot trimaran sailboat capsized during a boat race 12 miles south of Sanibel Island, Saturday evening.

Rescued was Fort Walton Beach native Randy Smyth, 63.

At 9 p.m. Coast Guard 7th District Command Center watchstanders received a personal locator beacon activation that correlated to the Water Tribe Everglades Challenge. Coast Guard Sector St. Petersburg watchstanders verified the owner of the beacon was Smyth, and contacted him via VHF-FM marine band radio channel 16. Smyth stated his sailboat had capsized and was in need of emergency assistance.

A 29-foot Response Boat Small-II boatcrew from Coast Guard Station Fort Myers Beach was launched, arrived on scene and rescued Smyth. There were no reported injuries.

“Locator beacons like a PLB or EPIRB can give us an extremely accurate position when used during an emergency,” said Petty Officer 2nd Class Jesse Ameigh, officer of the day at Station Fort Myers Beach. “Mr. Smyth was well prepared with a PLB, and the rest of his safety equipment was readily available.”

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