Coast Guard Rescues Two Men From Life Raft After Their Boat Sinks

CLEARWATER, Fla. – A rescue crew from Coast Guard Air Station Clearwater, Fla., hoisted two men from a life raft at about 5:45 a.m., Wednesday, after their commercial-fishing vessel sunk 72-miles west of Clearwater.

Elisseos Stamtiou, 69, of New Port Richey, Fla., and Steven Sander, 48, of Spring Hill, Fla., were rescued after their 36-foot commercial-fishing vessel, the Evripos, homeported in Tarpon Springs, Fla., became disabled early Wednesday morning, began taking on water and sunk.

Coast Guard Sector St. Petersburg, Fla., watchstanders received a call from a Good Samaritan at 3:25 a.m., Wednesday, reporting that he had overheard a mayday call on VHF channel 16 but was unable to locate the source of the call.

Sector St. Petersburg watchstanders received a signal at 4:53 a.m. from an Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon (EPRIB) that had been activated 72-miles west of Clearwater.

A Coast Guard Air Station Clearwater HH-60 rescue-helicopter crew was launched at about 5:15 a.m. to search the area. At 6:45 a.m., the rescue crew located Stamtiou and Sander in the life raft, hoisted them to the helicopter and brought them to Coast Guard Air Station Clearwater.

There were no injuries reported, and both men declined medical treatment.

“The EPIRB that was onboard was instrumental in saving these guy’s lives today. Once it activated, our search area became a lot smaller, which helped us find and rescue them a lot faster than if they hadn’t had one onboard,” said Petty Officer 1st Class Heath Montembeault, a Coast Guard Sector St. Petersburg watchstander. “It is very important to have safety equipment onboard any vessel and to test it occasionally to be sure it is in working order. Doing so could help save your life or the lives of anyone else aboard your vessel.”

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