Coast Guard airlifts boaters after boat sinks off Delray Beach

Coast Guard Cutter Drummond

Coast Guard File Photo

MIAMI – The Coast Guard rescued two boaters after their vessel began sinking approximately two miles east of Delray Beach, Fla., Sunday afternoon.

A commercial salvage company relayed a distress call to the Coast Guard from the operator of the vessel who indicated his vessel was sinking. The mayday call was made via VHF Channel 16, which serves as the primary means for mariners to contact the Coast Guard in a distress

Coast Guard boatcrews from Coast Guard Station Fort Lauderdale, Fla., and Coast Guard Station Lake Worth Inlet along with the Coast Guard Cutter Drummond and a Coast Guard Air Station Miami aircrew were launched to search for the distressed boaters. At approximately 7 p.m. the aircrew located and hoisted both survivors.

The boaters were taken to Pompano Beach, Fla., Airport and were reported in stable condition.

“These boaters were rescued in a timely manner because they had a working marine radio and they put their lifejackets on,” said Capt. Chris Scraba, Coast Guard Sector Miami commander.

A VHF radio is inexpensive and is the primary means to contact the Coast Guard during an emergency. Approximately 20,000 distress calls are received yearly on the international distress frequency, which also serves as the primary means for broadcasting urgent marine information to mariners. Cell phones may provide a satisfactory backup means of communication with the Coast Guard in an emergency, but may be unreliable in the offshore environment and should not be used as a substitute for a working VHF marine radio.

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