Coast Guard Calls for Help in Search for Florida Boaters

MIAMI – The Coast Guard is asking for the public’s help Friday night in gathering information for the search for two boaters reported to be in distress off Fort Lauderdale Beach, Fla.

Search-and-rescue coordinators at Coast Guard Sector Miami received a distress call relayed by a local commercial salvage company at about 5:30 p.m. The relayed distress call reports a vessel with two souls aboard is taking on water a mile off Fort Lauderdale Beach. Communications with the person making the report could not be re-established.

The Coast Guard immediately launched an HH-65C Dolphin helicopter from Air Station Miami, two rescue boats from Station Fort Lauderdale and diverted the Coast Guard Cutter Dolphin from its patrol to search for the vessel or people in the water.

“At this point we have very limited information about who or what we’re searching for,” said Cmdr. Michael White, chief of response at Sector Miami. “Lives are at stake and we want to get help were it’s needed as quickly as possible. Better information helps us take the ‘search’ out of search and rescue.”

On scene weather conditions include 5 to 6-foot seas and 20-knot winds. Weather conditions are not hindering search efforts at this time.

Anyone with information that may help the Coast Guard in its search or who may be able to identify the voice on the distress call is asked to contact the Coast Guard Sector Miami Operations Center at (305) 535-4472.

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