Coast Guard rescues 4 people from capsizing vessel

A Coast Guard Cutter William Flores small boat crew rescues four people from a 25-foot Grady White pleasure craft taking on water Friday, Aug. 16 2018, approximately 34 miles east of Lake Worth, Florida. The cutter William Flores crew received a mayday call from the vessel stating they were taking on water and the cutter crew diverted to assist the boaters. U.S. Coast Guard photo courtesy of Coast Guard Cutter William Flores

A Coast Guard Cutter William Flores small boat crew rescues four people from a 25-foot Grady White pleasure craft taking on water Friday, Aug. 16 2018. U.S. Coast Guard photo courtesy of Coast Guard Cutter William Flores

MIAMI — The Coast Guard rescued four people from a vessel taking on water Friday 34 miles east of Lake Worth.

Watchstanders aboard Coast Guard Cutter William Flores (WPC-1103) received a radio mayday call from a 25-foot Grady White pleasure craft reporting they were rapidly taking on water with four people aboard. The cutter crew diverted to the vessel’s position and embarked two of the four boaters from the sinking vessel.

During the rescue efforts the sinking vessel capsized while the remaining two people were aboard, but the William Flores small boat crew was able to recover them from the water with no reported injuries. The cutter later rendezvoused with a Coast Guard Station Lake Worth Inlet boat crew to safely transfer the boaters to shore.

“Properly maintained safety equipment made all the difference,” said Petty Officer 1st Class Alfredo Lopez, the small boat coxswain on scene. “Their VHF-FM radio allowed us to locate them very quickly, and their lifejackets made it much safer for the our boat crew to rescue the two boaters who went into the water.

Boaters are encouraged to equip their vessels with working VHF radios and electronic position indicating radio beacons, which help rescuers communicate with and locate a vessel in distress.

“We were in the right place at the right time to make the quick rescue,” said Petty Officer 1st Class Ian Duthie, a boat crewmember. “It took just fifteen minutes for their vessel to capsize, showing just how fast emergencies can happen out here.”

The cutter William Flores is a 154-foot fast response cutter homeported in Miami Beach, FL.

There were no reported injuries.

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