Coast Guard, Palm Beach Sheriff’s Office rescue 6 near Blue Heron Bridge

Coast Guard 33-foot Special Purpose Craft-Law Enforcement file photo

Coast Guard 33-foot Special Purpose Craft-Law Enforcement file photo

MIAMI — The Coast Guard and Palm Beach Sheriff’s office rescued six people from the water near Blue Heron Bridge after their kayaks overturned Friday.

The two agencies reached the scene at the same time, embarked the kayakers and brought them ashore with no reported injuries.

Coast Guard Sector Miami watchstanders received a report of six people who fell from their kayaks due to 23-28 mph winds. Watchstanders directed the launch of a Coast Guard Station Lake Worth Inlet 33-foot Special Purpose Craft-Law Enforcement crew, and the Palm Beach Sheriff’s Office also responded.

“Thankfully, the kayakers had their life jackets on which contributed to the success of this mission,” said Petty Officer 2nd Class Dustin Leicht, coxswain at Station Lake Worth. “Preparation is paramount when getting out on the water. Steps as seemingly simple as putting on a life jacket and telling people where you’re going and how long you’ll be out can save your life.”

Below are a few boating safety tips to keep in mind:

File a float plan: Leave a detailed float plan with a friend or family member who is staying back. The sooner a craft can be reported overdue, the more likely a positive outcome will result. Facts need to be quickly and accurately conveyed in an emergency. Your float plan should include detailed information that rescue personnel need in order to find you. For examples of a float plan, and for more information, visit before you go.

Wear a life jacket: Life jackets save lives. Life jackets save lives. In 2018, 77 percent of all fatal boating accident victims drowned. Of those, approximately 84 percent were not wearing a life jacket. Accidents can leave even a strong swimmer injured, unconscious, or exhausted in the water.

Monitor weather broadcasts: Watch for current storm and small craft advisories. The National Weather Service broadcasts marine weather forecasts regularly. Forecasts can be seen by checking the NWS website at

Have a signaling device to communicate an emergency: Have a portable device to communicate an emergency on the water.

Never boat under the influence (BUI): It is illegal to operate a boat while under the influence of alcohol or drugs in every state. There are stringent penalties for violating BUI/BWI laws, which can include large fines, suspension or revocation of boat operator privileges and jail terms. Alcohol use is the leading known contributing factor in fatal boating accidents.

If you see something, say something. If you see someone in danger or someone you suspect may be boating under the influence, contact the nearest Coast Guard station or sector or local first responders via 911.

Download the Coast Guard boating safety mobile app. Features included on the app are the latest safety regulations and navigation rules, as well as immediate access to filling a float plan, checking the weather, and reporting pollution hazards or suspicious activity. Click here to get the free app.

The Coast Guard 7th District is one of nine district offices nationwide and has the responsibility for all Coast Guard operations in South Carolina, Georgia, the Florida Peninsula and the entire Caribbean basin, which includes 34 countries and territories. This encompasses an area of 1.8 million square miles and includes the largest concentration of cutters and aircraft.

If you have any problems viewing this article, please report it here.