ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — The Coast Guard rescued five people from the water after their 48-foot boat sank 10 miles west of Crystal River, Florida, Saturday night.
At 9:27 p.m. watchstanders from Coast Guard Sector St. Petersburg received a call via VHF-FM radio channel 16 from a man stating his boat was taking on water with a total of five people aboard, all wearing life jackets.
A 29-foot Response Boat-Small from Coast Guard Station Yankeetown, Florida, and an Air Station Clearwater MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew were launched.
At 10:05 p.m. watchstanders at the sector were notified that the vessel was sinking and all people aboard the boat were going into the water. Watchstanders directed the people to stay with the vessel and launch a handheld red flare when they saw rescue personnel.
At 10:27 p.m. the RB-S boatcrew arrived on scene, observed a single handheld flare, located the people and pulled them out of the water. The people were taken to Pete’s Pier in Crystal River without any reported injuries.
The Jayhawk crew stayed on scene until all the people were recovered safely.
The owner is coordinating salvage plans.
“These people did everything right, in the midst of danger,” said Petty Officer 2nd Class Jonathan Wheatley, an operations specialist at the sector. “They had all the proper safety equipment including a marine radio, life jackets and flares, and they used them properly.”