Coast Guard rescues boater 2 miles west of Casey Key

A Coast Guard Station Cortez 29-foot Response Boat-Small II file photo by by Seaman Meredith A. Manning

Coast Guard Station Cortez 29-foot Response Boat-Small II file photo by by Seaman Meredith A. Manning

CORTEZ, Fla. — The Coast Guard rescued a man aboard his 14-foot sailboat 2 miles west of Casey Key, Saturday.

Rescued was Palm Beach Gardens native, Paul Friedman, 53.

At 5:10 p.m. Coast Guard Sector St. Petersburg watchstanders received a distress call via VHF-FM marine band radio channel 16. Friedman reported his sailboat was dismasted, he was unable to anchor, he had run out of food and water, and needed emergency assistance. Friedman stated the weather on scene was 6-foot seas and 30 mph winds.

A 29-foot Response Boat-Small II boatcrew from Coast Guard Station Cortez was diverted, arrived on scene and placed the sailboat in tow. The Coast Guard crew transported Friedman and his boat to Crow’s Nest Marina in Venice. There were no reported injuries.

“We recommend boaters have all their safety equipment and documents in order before leaving the dock,”said Petty Officer 2nd Class Charles Richter, officer of the day at Station Cortez. “Mr. Friedman did the right thing when he contacted us at the first sign of distress. We ask all boaters never hesitate to contact the Coast Guard in the event of an emergency.”

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