Boater rescued by Coast Guard, partner agencies near Passage Key, Fla.

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — A 31-year-old man was rescued from his 26-foot sailing vessel by Coast Guard and partner agency crews one miles west of Passage Key Inlet, Florida, Monday.

The sister of the man contacted Coast Guard Sector St. Petersburg, Florida, watchstanders at 11 p.m., reporting her brother purchased the vessel and intended to sail from Clearwater, Florida, to Marine Jacks in Sarasota, Florida. She also told watchstanders her brother contacted her via cellular phone and may be in danger due to the sea state after losing communication with him.

An MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew from Coast Guard Air Station Clearwater, a 29-foot Response Boat — Small II crew from Coast Guard Station Cortez, Florida, A 45-foot Response Boat — Medium crew from Coast Guard Station St. Petersburg, A Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission crew and a Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office marine crew arrived on scene to assist.

The man entered the water with his lifejacket donned and swam to the HCSO marine boat after the rescue units were unable to get close enough to retrieve him from the vessel.

Once aboard, the man was transferred to the Coast Guard RBS II crew and transported back to Coast Guard Station Cortez with no medical concerns.

“The cooperation between the Coast Guard and local agencies to accomplish this rescue was incredible,” said Petty officer 2nd Class Justin Bosworth, a watchstander at the sector. “We were able to work together to retrieve the man before the situation deteriorated.”

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