Coast Guard rescues two from sinking vessel

CLEARWATER, Fla. – The Coast Guard rescued two men from a sinking fishing vessel off Chassahowitzka Bay, Tuesday.

The Coast Guard District 7 Command Center in Miami notified watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector St. Petersburg of an Emergency Positioning Indicating Radio Beacon (EPIRB) signal emanating approximately eight miles west of Chassahowitzka Bay, Fla., at 10:30 p.m., Monday.

Due to the EPIRB signal’s registration to the fishing vessel Ebby Luz, watchstanders were able to contact the owner and confirm the vessel was underway.

Upon issuing an Urgent Marine Information Broadcast (UMIB) to inform other mariners in the area of the vessel in distress, Sector St. Petersburg directed the launch of an Air Station Clearwater MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew at 11:03 p.m.

The Jayhawk crew arrived onscene at 12:17 a.m. and hoisted two men, Lloyd Best III, 37, of Hernando Beach, Fla., and an unknown individual to safety. The men were brought to Air Station Clearwater.

No injuries were reported.

This rescue illustrates the vital importance of safety equipment for all seasoned and recreational boaters. The Coast Guard recommends the use of a registered EPIRB, PPIRB, fully functioning marine band radio and proper use of life jackets. For further information on available lifesaving equipment, please click here to visit the Coast Guard’s Boating Safety website.

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