Coast Guard helps locate missing divers near Key Largo

KEY WEST, Fla. — The Coast Guard assisted in the successful rescue of three missing divers near Key Largo, Fla., Saturday afternoon.

Coast Guard Sector Key West watchstanders received notification of three missing divers from a 26-foot vessel about six miles southwest of Pacific Reef off the Florida Keys.

The vessel that the three divers departed from also had three children aboard. While the adults were diving, the vessel’s anchor came loose, and the three children and boat were sent adrift. Due to the on-scene weather and water current, the divers could not reach the boat. The children aboard the vessel notified the Coast Guard via VHF-FM Channel 16.

Sector Key West personnel launched boatcrews from Coast Guard Station Islamorada, Fla., and Coast Guard Station Miami Beach, Fla., as well as a helicopter crew from Coast Guard Air Station Miami in search of the missing divers.

Sector Key West also issued an Urgent Marine Information Broadcast (UMIB) to alert boaters in the area.

The Coast Guard also coordinated with:
* Miami-Dade Fire Rescue Boat 1
* U.S. National Park Rangers
* Sea Tow
* A good Samaritan

The good Samaritan located the adrift vessel with the three children aboard and commenced a search for the divers. The first diver was located by the good Samaritan, Sea Tow personnel located the second diver, and the Coast Guard helicopter crew located the final missing diver. All persons in the water were accounted for with no medical concerns.

“This search and rescue case is a superb example of the strong multiagency partnerships we benefit from throughout the Florida Keys and South Florida,” said Capt. Pat DeQuattro, commanding officer of Sector Key West. “The great teamwork demonstrated during this case no doubt contributed to the quick and safe recovery of all three missing divers.”

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