Coast Guard crew rescues boaters from sunken vessel

MIAMI – The Coast Guard rescued two men Wednesday morning after their vessel sank approximately 10 miles south of Plana Cay, Bahamas.

Coast Guard watchstanders at the Seventh District Command Center in Miami received an Emergency Position-Indicating Radio Beacon and a Personal Locating Beacon alert signal, registered to the 108-foot yacht Sullivan Bay, about 10 miles south of Plana Cay.

A Coast Guard HH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew from Air Station Clearwater, Fla., deployed to Providenciales, Turks and Caicos Islands in support of Operation Bahamas, Turks and Caicos (OPBAT), was immediately launched.

At approximately 7 a.m., the Jayhawk crew located the PLB and a liferaft with two persons aboard. The two men, Roberto Bustamante, 40, from Miami, and Carlos Figueredo, 42, from Naples, Fla., were hoisted into the helicopter. They stated they had left Long Island, Bahamas, Thursday morning and were heading to Puerto Rico when they apparently struck something with their vessel and began sinking.

Bustamante and Figueredo were taken to Providenciales were they were reported to be in good condition.

“This case demonstrates the multimission capabilities of personnel and assets deployed to OPBAT,” said Lt. Cmdr. Louie Parks, OPBAT director. “While our primariy focus is on counter-narcotics operations, OPBAT personnel are ready to help distressed boaters whenever and wherever we are needed.”

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