Coast Guard rescues 2 from sailing vessel 57 miles from Apalachicola

Coast Guard Air Station Clearwater MH-60 file photo

Coast Guard Air Station Clearwater MH-60 file photo

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — The Coast Guard rescued two men, Saturday, from a 42-foot sailing vessel beset by weather 57 miles of Apalachicola.

Rescued were: Richard Moore, 72, and John Ulrich, 77.

An Air Station Clearwater MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew arrived on scene, hoisted the two mariners, and safely transferred them to Air Station Clearwater with no medical concerns.

Coast Guard 8th District Command Center watchstanders notified Coast Guard 7th District watchstanders reporting two people aboard a sailing vessel in distress due to sea conditions. The watchstanders directed the launch of a Coast Guard Jayhawk helicopter crew and diverted an HC-130 Hercules aircraft crew to assist.

“Forecasted severe weather can put even the most experienced mariners at risk,” said Lt. Jonathan Ray, Jayhawk MH-60 helicopter pilot at Coast Guard Air Station Clearwater. “With that said, it’s fortunate we arrived on scene when we did because the weather was getting worse by the minute. The crew did a fantastic job in incredibly challenging and complex conditions to rescue these men before the sea could overtake their vessel.”

Local authorities will coordinate commercial salvage operations to remove the vessel from the water and monitor the situation to assist if conditions worsen.

Coast Guard Sector Mobile watchstanders reported 34 mph winds and 10-foot seas.

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