Off-duty Coast Guardsman rescues 2 boaters in Jacksonville, Fla.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – An off-duty Coast Guardsman rescued two boaters who were clinging to an aid-to-navigation throughout the night near the entrance of Pablo Creek at Mayport Saturday.

Rescued were Robert Richards, 31, and Amber McMullen, 22.

The Coast Guard was notified by the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office that two boaters were clinging to an aid-to-navigation in Pablo Creek. A 25-foot rescue boat crew from Coast Guard Station Mayport launched but could not reach the boaters due to shallow water depth.

Petty Officer 1st Class David Alred, a machinery technician stationed aboard Coast Guard Security Detachment Mayport, was fishing aboard a flat bottom boat in the area and successfully rescued both boaters at approximately 7:13 a.m.

“I was fishing near the Coast Guard station when I heard the search and rescue alarm go off,” said Alred. “I cruised down to the area to see what was going on. I spoke with the coxswain who asked asked me if I was able to get near the light range due to the shallow water.”

Alred said he was able to tie up his boat to the aid-to-navigation where the boaters had been waiting throughout the night.

“The boaters had climbed up the ladder and attempted to notify passerby’s with a light they had,” said Alred. “They said they had been there since 2 a.m.”

The boaters were ejected from their boat following a collision with an unknown object.

Alred transferred the boaters to the Coast Guard rescue boat crew who delivered them to awaiting EMS personnel ashore. The boaters were reported to have minor injuries.

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