Coast Guard rescues 2 overdue near Big Coppitt Key

A Coast Guard Air Station Miami MH-65 Dolphin helicopter

A Coast Guard Air Station Miami MH-65 Dolphin helicopter File Photo

MIAMI — The Coast Guard rescued two overdue boaters near Big Coppitt Key, Tuesday.

Coast Guard Sector Key West watchstanders received notification of two teenagers on an overdue 16-foot skiff who were supposed to return to shore before sunset. The boat had no navigation lights or radio onboard. Watchstanders diverted a Coast Guard Air Station Miami MH-65 Dolphin helicopter crew to respond.

The helicopter crew arrived on scene, located the two waving, hoisted them and took them to Key West International Airport with no reported injuries. The owner will make arrangements to go back out and retrieve the anchored vessel.

“It’s important that people have all the right safety equipment, comms equipment, and a float plan when going out on the water,” said Senior Chief Petty Officer Jeremy Weaver, command duty officer at Sector Key West. “Utilizing the proper tools in a search and rescue situation, particularly at night, can exponentially increase our chances of rescuing someone.”

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