Coast Guard Station Cortez assists 4 in vessel taking on water in Sarasota Bay, Fla.

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — The Coast Guard assisted four people aboard a 38-foot catamaran after they began taking on water in the vicinity of Ringling Brothers Bridge in Sarasota Bay, Friday.

The owner of the Rock Bottom contacted watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector St. Petersburg via VHF-FM channel 16 radio at approximately 2:30 p.m., reporting they were taking on water approximately one inch every 30 minutes due to a broken rudder post. He also reported his dewatering pumps and bailing efforts were keeping up with the water coming aboard, but they had an 8-inch gash in the hull.

A 29-foot Response Boat — Small II crew from Coast Guard Station Cortez, Florida, arrived on scene, assisted with dewatering efforts and escorted the boat and crew to Marine-Max Marina in good condition.

“Having a marine band radio aboard their vessel greatly aided in a smooth rescue today,” said Petty Officer 2nd Class Will Lengyel, a command center watchstander at the sector. “By having the radio aboard, we were able to communicate with the owner and get to them quickly before the situation deteriorated.”

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