Coast Guard assists 5 from disabled boat in Tampa Bay

A Coast Guard boatcrew aboard a 45-foot Response Boat-Medium, from Station St. Petersburg, Florida, tows an 18-foot disabled pontoon boat 1 mile south of the Gandy Boat Ramp, Florida, Monday, March 12, 2018. The boatcrew assisted two adults and three children and transported them to Station St. Petersburg, Florida. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Aaron Massey.

A Coast Guard boatcrew aboard a 45-foot Response Boat-Medium, from Station St. Petersburg, Florida, tows an 18-foot disabled pontoon boat 1 mile south of the Gandy Boat Ramp, Florida, Monday, March 12, 2018. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Aaron Massey.

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — The Coast Guard assisted two adults and three children Monday from their disabled 18-foot pontoon boat 1 mile south of the Gandy Boat Ramp.

At 6:03 p.m., Coast Guard Sector St. Petersburg watchstanders received a report via 911 relay from the captain of the pontoon boat stating his engine was disabled and he needed emergency assistance.

Watchstanders directed the distressed crew to don their lifejackets and anchor their boat. Watchstanders then launched a 45-foot Response Boat-Medium boatcrew from Coast Guard Station St. Petersburg to assist.

At 6:47 p.m., the boat crew arrived and took the disabled pontoon boat in tow.

“We were very happy to find all the boaters wearing their lifejackets once we got on scene,” said Petty Officer 3rd Class Aaron Massey, Station St. Petersburg boat crewmember. “We urge all boaters to wear their lifejackets at all times when underway, because you don’t want to scramble to find one during an emergency.”

The Coast Guard crew transported the boaters and their boat to the Gandy Boat Ramp at 7:50 p.m. No injuries were reported.

“We ask all mariners to ensure they have a working VHF-FM marine-band radio on board to ensure good communications in case of emergencies,” said Petty Officer 1st Class Matthew Bonneau, a watchstander at Sector St. Petersburg. “Cell phones can be spotty and unreliable while underway.”

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