Coast Guard crew assists 2 west of John’s Pass, Fla.

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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Two people were assisted by the Coast Guard after the 36-foot commercial fishing vessel they were aboard began taking on water 64 miles west of John’s Pass Saturday.

A person aboard the vessel contacted Coast Guard Sector St. Petersburg watchstanders at 1:38 p.m., via VHF-FM channel 16 radio reporting they were keeping up with the flooding with a hand-held pump but needed assistance.

A MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew from Coast Guard Air Station Clearwater arrived on scene, delivered a dewatering pump to the vessel and lowered the rescue swimmer to assist.

Once pump was functional, the vessel and crew were able to start the engine and began to make their way back to shore. The sector will keep them on a communication schedule until they are safely moored in Madeira Beach.

“They had means of communication, life jackets and an emergency position indicating radio beacon aboard the vessel,” said Petty Officer 2nd Class Matthew Bonneau, a watchstander at the sector. “They were prepared if the situation deteriorated. Fortunately, we were able to get to them quickly, assist with the dewatering pump and get them on their way.”

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