Coast Guard Station Ponce De Leon Inlet rescues 6 aboard flooding boat 30 miles offshore

ATLANTIC BEACH, Fla. – A boatcrew from Coast Guard Station Ponce De Leon Inlet in New Smyrna Beach, Florida, rescued 6 people who were aboard a boat that was in danger of sinking 30 miles east of Ponce Inlet Tuesday.

At 4:15 p.m. William “Billy” Moody used a VHF-FM marine radio to broadcast a mayday call, reporting the 20-foot Grady White recreational boat he was aboard with five other people was flooding.

Watchstanders in the Coast Guard Sector Jacksonville command center responded to the call and immediately directed a boatcrew from Station Ponce De Leon Inlet that was already underway to assist. A good Samaritan aboard the pleasure craft Coconut, which was nearby too, overheard the radio call and also responded.

Additionally, Moody activated the vessel’s Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon, which gave responders his precise location.

“When we received the initial radio distress call, the man didn’t provide his full GPS coordinates, but when he activated his vessel’s EPIRB we received his precise position,” said Chief Petty Officer Sandy Ketchen, Sector Jacksonville command duty officer. “Without the full position provided by the EPIRB, our boatcrew would have been searching a 3,600-square mile area to find the vessel.”

The good Samaritan arrived on scene first and brought one of the six people from the flooding boat aboard.

The Coast Guard boatcrew arrived on scene shortly after and began using a dewatering pump to get the flooding under control.

The vessel is currently under Coast Guard escort as it makes way toward shore under its own power with the dewatering pump continuously running to keep up with flooding.

The owners contracted commercial salvage company Sea Tow, which is en route to take over.

The boaters reported a crack in the boat’s transom caused the flooding.

No injuries have been reported.

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