Coast Guard rescues 5 from burning vessel

Coast Guard 8th District News
MOBILE, Ala. — The Coast Guard rescued five people from a 72-foot fishing vessel that caught fire in the Gulf of Mexico, Wednesday.

At about 10 p.m., watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector Mobile received a call reporting that the fishing vessel, Long Shot, had caught fire 25 miles off the coast of Florida between Panama City and Destin.

Sector Mobile diverted the Coast Guard Cutter Seahawk, homeported in Carrabelle, Fla., and diverted an HC-144 Ocean Sentry fixed-wing aircraft and crew from Coast Guard Aviation Training Center Mobile to the scene.

The crew of the Ocean Sentry spotted a life raft and guided the crew of the Seahawk to its position. The Seahawk crew brought the five people aboard and transported them to St. Andrews Marina in Panama City.

“This case highlights the importance of having several methods of communications. The crew was not able to make a mayday broadcast before abandoning their vessel but were able to contact the Coast Guard using a satellite phone,” said Lt. Matthew Mitchell, the command center chief for Sector Mobile. “Mariners are advised to always maintain at least two methods of communications.”

The incident is under investigation.

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