Coast Guard rescues 4 from sinking vessel – video

CLEARWATER, Fla. – The Coast Guard rescued four boaters after their recreational boat overturned, 25 miles west of Clearwater, Saturday.

Watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector St. Petersburg received a distress call via VHF Radio at approximately 7:04 a.m., from vessel owner Joseph DiGiovanni stating he and three other people were aboard a boat approximately 25 miles west of St. John’s Pass, Clearwater, and were taking on water.

Search and rescue coordinators were unable to make further contact with the vessel, but received a signal from a registered Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon (EPIRB), giving the exact position of Phillip Voza 50, Bryan Smock 31, Sean Vozza 17, and DiGiovanni 62.

A Coast Guard Air Station Clearwater HH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew was launched at 7:41 a.m., and arrived on scene at approximately 7:50 a.m., finding the four boaters clinging to debris nearby their overturned and sinking vessel.

All four men were safely lifted by the rescue air crew and transported back to Air Station Clearwater.

“We were 25 or so miles out,” said DiGiovanni. “They (Coast Guard) came out quickly and professionally, and we just can’t thank them enough.”

“We just got a chance to make that one call, but the little EPIRB that’s in the pocket of my inflatable lifevest went off, and they found us,” said Vozza.

No injuries were reported.

This rescue illustrates the vital importance of safety equipment for all seasoned and recreational boaters. The Coast Guard recommends the use of a registered EPIRB, PPIRB, fully functioning marine band radio and proper use of life jackets.

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