Coast Guard rescues 3 people from sinking vessel in Ponce de Leon Inlet, Fla.

NEW SMYRNA BEACH, Fla. – The Coast Guard rescued three people Tuesday night after a 44-foot commercial fishing vessel, Little Joe, began to take on water approximately one-half-mile off the of Ponce de Leon Inlet, Fla., jetties near New Smyrna Beach.

At approximately 9 p.m. Tuesday, Coast Guard watchstanders received a Channel 16 VHF radio hail reporting that the Little Joe suffered a crack in the vessel’s raw water system causing about 1000 gallons of water to flood Little Joe. In addition, it was reported that the water was contained in the vessel’s engine room.

A 47-foot small-boat rescue crew from Coast Guard Station Ponce de Leon Inlet deployed to rescue the three people.  The Coast Guardsmen arrived on-scene at 9:20 p.m. and provided the boaters aboard Little Joe a dewatering pump to use in addition to a pump already being used aboard the vessel. Little Joe was reported to be dewatered at 9:39 p.m. and was towed by the Coast Guard’s small boat to Sea Love Boat Ramp in Ponce de Leon Inlet.

All three survivors were reported to be in good condition.

A VHF radio is inexpensive and is the primary means to contact the Coast Guard during an emergency. Approximately 20,000 distress calls are received yearly on the international distress frequency, which also serves as the primary means for broadcasting urgent marine information to mariners.

For more information about VHF radios and marine safety visit this link

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