Coast Guard rescues three men from sinking fishing vessel

CLEARWATER, Fla. – The Coast Guard rescued three men Wednesday at about 2:00 a.m., after their vessel began taking on water approximately 60 miles northwest of Clearwater.

Coast Guard Air Station Clearwater, Fla., was notified by search and rescue coordinators at Coast Guard 7th District Command Center in Miami, at 12:37 a.m., that an emergency positioning indicating radio beacon (EPIRB) signal, registered to the fishing vessel Rubicon, had been detected northwest of Clearwater.

At approximately 1:00 a.m., Air Station Clearwater launched an HH-60 Jayhawk rescue helicopter crew and began searching the reported area. At 1:35 a.m., the 32-foot fishing vessel Rubicon was spotted after a red flare was released by the distressed mariners, and an EPIRB strobe helped guide the crew to the sinking vessel.

Using night vision goggles, the rescue helicopter crew safely hoisted all three men into the helicopter and transferred them to Air Station Clearwater, where emergency medical personnel awaited. The three men were treated for minor injuries and released.

“We were able to rescue these people quickly, in part, because they had the right safety equipment,” said Lt.j.g Daniel Cathell, co-pilot of the HH-60 Jayhawk rescue helicopter that rescued the men, “this was a successful case largely because they were prepared.”

The Coast Guard recommends mariners file a float plan with family members or friends, have emergency equipment on board, including an EPIRB and VHF marine radio, and wear the appropriate life jackets.

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