KEY WEST, Fla. — Coast Guard personnel responded to a report of a boat aground near the Northwest Channel on Thursday.
Watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector Key West were notified at approximately 4:41 a.m. of a 33-foot catamaran with three men aboard that ran aground on the jetties. One of the men called 911 and Key West Police Department notified the Sector Key West Command Center.
A Special Purpose Craft-Law Enforcement response crew from Coast Guard Station Key West and an MH-65 Dolphin helicopter crew from Coast Guard Air Station Miami responded immediately in adverse weather conditions. The response crew from Station Key West located the three men clinging to a small portion of their sunken boat that remained above water.
“I saw something that didn’t look right, possibly some irregularly shaped crab traps with several floats” said Petty Officer 2nd Class Leo Stratton, Station Key West response crew coxswain. “When we got closer, it was three guys in lifejackets.”
The three men were evaluated by emergency medical services waiting pier side at Sector Key West. The men had only minor cuts and bruises.
“Our crews are extremely proficient,” said Cmdr. Gary Tomasulo, deputy sector commander. “I am proud the Coast Guard is responsible for returning these men safely ashore.”