Coast Guard rescues 4 divers 20 miles off Panama City

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PANAMA CITY, Fla. — A Coast Guard aircrew rescued four divers approximately 20 miles off Panama City, Friday.

Watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector Mobile, Ala., received an overdue report for the divers. A Coast Guard Air Station New Orleans MH-65 Dolphin helicopter crew, staged at Destin for the holiday weekend, and a Coast Guard Station Panama City response boatcrew were launched.

The helicopter crew located the four divers holding up flashlights in the water. The aircrew hoisted the four people and brought them to awaiting EMS at Tyndall Air Force Base for a medical evaluation.

“In this case we had enough information to determine this was a search and rescue case and effectively search when they were supposed to return, where they launched from, and where they were going. The actions of the divers to have a plan, have the right equipment and stay together may have saved their lives,” said Lt. Cmdr. Jennifer Adams, Sector Mobile.

The Coast Guard encourages mariners to file a float plan with family or a friend. Before you go out, leave information about your trip with a family member or friend who is staying on shore. Include all information that would help rescuers in case of emergency; how many people aboard, where you are going, how long you will be out and a description of your boat. Like a life jacket, a float plan is a life-saving device on paper, which can make the difference in rescue and response time in the event of an emergency.

The condition of the four was unknown.

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