5 rescued from grounded vessel in Nassau Sound

Southeastern Coast Guard NewsJACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Five boaters are safe after a boatcrew from U.S. Coast Guard Station Mayport, Fla., rescued them after their boat drifted aground Friday morning, in Nassau Sound about one mile east of the Heckscher Drive Bridge.

The captain of the 115-foot fishing vessel, Amazing Grace, notified Coast Guard operational watchstanders from Sector Jacksonville via VH-FM radio channel 16 at 6:47 a.m., that while the crew was asleep the vessel had drifted aground and began taking on water.

A Coast Guard Station Mayport, Fla., 45-foot Response Boat – Medium crew arrived on scene at approximately 7:00 a.m. Since the area was too shallow for the RB-M crew to come alongside the fishing vessel, the Coast Guardsmen passed a de-watering pump to the crew of the Amazing Grace.

After the pumps could not keep up with the flooding, the five boaters donned their life jackets, abandoned the vessel and with the help of Nassau County Sherriff’s Office, were transferred aboard the Coast Guard RB-M.

The boaters were transported to Station Mayport with no injuries reported.

“Nassau Sound is a notoriously shallow area, and we respond to grounded vessels there often,” said Petty Officer 2nd Class Stephan McCllellan, the coxswain of the RB-M. “All boaters should have navigational awareness before taking their vessel out and refer to nautical charts for water depths and known hazards.”

There are no reports of pollution. The vessel’s owner is working with a commercial salvage company to recover the vessel.

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