Coast Guard rescues 8 people near Anclote Key, Fla.

CLEARWATER, Fla. – Eight people were rescued by Coast Guard boat and air crews near Anclote Key, Florida, early Friday morning.

At midnight, watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector St. Petersburg, Florida, received a report of an unstable raft with four people aboard, approximately one mile northeast of Anclote Key. A Coast Guard Station Sand Key, Florida, boatcrew and a Coast Guard Air Station Clearwater, Florida, helicopter rescue crew were launched to respond to the report.

At around 12:50 a.m. Sector St. Petersburg watchstanders received a call from Pasco County dispatch reporting three people stranded on the Anclote Key beach with the water rising. Due to dense vegetation, the people on the island were unable to get to higher ground. They were reported to from the same party as those in the raft.

The Station Sand Key boatcrew arrived on scene with the raft at approximately 2 a.m. and safely embarked four people from the vessel and a fifth person who was on scene in a kayak.

The helicopter rescue crew, who was in the vicinity, located the three people on Anclote Key, hoisted them to safety, and transported them to Clearwater Airport.

Of the eight people rescued, only one had a working cell phone, and no one was wearing a lifejacket.

“When you are on an unstable craft, such as a raft or kayak, it is important to always have a lifejacket on,” said Coast Guard Petty Officer 2nd Class Matthew Bonneau, situation unit controller at Sector St. Petersburg. “You don’t want to end up in the water with out one. It is a matter of life or death.”

There were no reports of any injuries.

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One Comment

  1. Ertugrul Ciltik says:

    I have some things to ad and correct that are not true about this story.
    all 8 of us tried to kayak out to the Acnlote sandbank island, but the one with the GPS looked at the wrong spot. We kayaked all the way to the beginning of the island, were the water gets low. we then jumped of the kayaks, to start walking in a group hoping to hit land, but the phone with the GPS fell in the water, so now we were clueless of were to go. we then decided then decided to return to Anclote island and head out in the morning, because wind was picking up and a thunderstorm was aproching from the west. I was in the 2 man kayak with one person. 2 people was in a 3 man kayak, 3 people was in a 3 man kayak and one person was on the inflatable boat with all our camping gear, being pulled by the 3 persons.
    I decided to kayak fast towards Anclote Island, to dropped off my passenger and all our stuff and then return to help the 3 men with their load. the other two people came in when i started kayaking out again. By that time we thought it was low tied and the beach was safe.
    on my way out the wind was getting stronger and i noticed the 3 men and the inflatable boat was further away, by their lights.
    When i arrived to them i saw their kayak had flipped, because it had taking in water in the hull and one person was laying on top of that. 3 men was on the inflatable boat, one injured his arm and could not move. they had lost all their paddles and one life vest. the one laying on the kayak had his life vest on. i had my life vest on. the once on the inflatable boat could not turn around to get their life vest in fear of flipping the boat and the injured person could not move. I told the guy on the flipped kayak how to turn it around again and he did.
    At this time they had the Cost Guard on the phone and the people on the Island also had one working phone. 6 other phones were damaged due to water.
    I managed to get the guy on the flipped kayak into my kayak and one from the boat onto the 3 men kayak, also taking some load of the boat to the 3 men kayak, but with the wind we were drifting towards the thunderstorm, so me and the guys start paddeling towards Anclote island, against the wind and into the waves, so we would not lay sideways against the waves. We paddle until the Cost Guard arrived.
    The people on the Island were fighting to keep wildlife away from them while the high tied was rising over their knees. Stingrays were coming towards them in the water and snakes and Racoons were coming out from the bushes. They had to kill one snake coming towards them. They also heard one Racoon gotten killed by, what the locals suspect to be an saltwater gator.
    They did tho have one working cellphone to cal the Cost Guard too and did not wear their life vest because they started out being safe on a beach.
    I thank the entire Cost Guard team for saving us. Without them i cant imagine what would had happened to us out there.
    So thank you, from all of us.
    Sincerely the 5 person on the kayak.