Coast Guard rescues two people in water near Lower Matecumbe Key

MIAMI — The Coast Guard and Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission rescued two people from the water Thursday approximately one mile north of Lower Matecumbe Key, Florida.

Watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector Key West received a report from Florida Keys Boat Rails of Islamorada at approximately 5:23 p.m. of an unmanned adrift vessel with a swim ladder in the down position, indicating that the renters of the boat were in the water with no personal flotation devices.

A Coast Guard Station Islamorada 24-foot Response Boat-Small crew and a Coast Guard Air Station Miami MH-65 Dolphin helicopter crew launched to the scene. The local police department and FWC also launched marine units to assist.

At approximately 7:21 p.m. an FWC vessel pulled the female out of the water and immediately after, the MH-65 helicopter crew found the male and hovered over him while another FWC vessel pulled him out of the water.

Both people were transferred to awaiting emergency medical services at Sea Base Station. The reporting source towed the vessel back to Robbies Marina.

“Two confirmed people in the water at night with their vessel adrift is a nightmare case,” said Cdr. Blanca Rosas, search and rescue mission coordinator for Coast Guard Sector Key West, “Our strong partnerships in the Florida Keys is what made the difference between success and tragedy here. Between Coast Guard surface and air assets, FWC, and Munroe Country Sheriff’s Office, we were able to recover both people and get them safely back to shore. Before getting in the water, it’s always important to understand your capabilities, how strong the current is and a PFD is always recommended.”

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