Coast Guard rescues 5 people from capsized boat near Cedar Key, Fla.

Coast Guard Air Station Clearwater MH-60 file photo

Coast Guard Air Station Clearwater MH-60 file photo

CEDAR KEY, Fla. — The Coast Guard rescued 5 people Saturday from the water after their boat capsized 24 miles south west of the Withlacoochee River.

Rescued were: Hollie Moore, Todd Nanke, Troy Nanke, Steven Nanke, Chris Singlekey.

Watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector St. Petersburg received a distress call via VHF-FM marine band radio channel 16 from one of the boaters stating, “We’re going down” at 12:17 p.m., and watchstanders at the Coast Guard District 7 command center received a personal locator beacon alert at 12:19 p.m.

An aircrew aboard an MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter from Coast Guard Air Station Clearwater was diverted to assist. The aircrew arrived at 1:06 p.m. and hoisted the five boaters who were clinging to the hull of their 24-foot boat. All five were wearing their life jackets.

The boaters were transported to George T. Lewis Airport. No injuries were reported.

“These boaters are an excellent example of the importance of having emergency safety gear; by activating their personal position-indicating radio beacon, that alert gave rescuers a pin-point location of their distress,” said Lt. Andrew Schwalbenberg, pilot and public affairs officer at Air Station Clearwater. “Although the Coast Guard’s Seventh District, including aircrews from Air Station Clearwater, are working tirelessly to help those impacted by Hurricane Florence, we will continue to execute our day-to-day operations outside of hurricane-affected areas.”

A Hazard to Navigation was issued by Sector St. Petersburg watchstanders alerting mariners in the area about the capsized boat.

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