Coast Guard Rescues Two People From Boat Beginning to Sink in Florida

by Amy Myers
Photo by CHANDAN KHANNA/AFP via Getty Images

This week, the U.S. Coast Guard came to the rescue of two individuals in Florida aboard a sinking vessel.

At around 4:45 p.m. on Thursday, September 22, watchstanders at the Coast Guard Sector in St. Petersburg received word of a 20-foot boat that was beginning to sink roughly 14 miles west of Casey Key on the western side of the panhandle.

A Coast Guard crew hurried to the site aboard a 45-foot Response Boat-Medium vessel from the USCG Station Cortez in Bradenton. Once the team rescued the passengers from the boat, they dewatered the boat until commercial salvage could arrive.

According to the Station Cortez team, per Fox News, they were able to escort the passengers back to shore without any medical concerns.

In response to the rescue, the team stressed the importance of boat maintenance and keeping the necessary gear on board in case of a water breach.

“We always encourage mariners to perform a function check of boat machinery, such as bilge pumps, prior to getting underway,” Coast Guard officials told the outlet.

In addition to these precautions, Station Cortez also suggested keeping “an installed VHF radio or a handheld VHF radio tuned to Channel 16,” the International Hailing and Distress frequency.

Coast Guard Arrests Boat Passengers in Louisiana After Firing Shot at USCG Crew

In another recent incident with the Coast Guard, a helicopter crew in Louisiana encountered a vessel in which the passengers allegedly fired shots at the chopper.

According to the USCG’s official release, the team received a distress call on Thursday, September 15 activated from a 40-foot sailing vessel approximately 75 miles south of Southwest Pass, Louisiana.

Once at the scene, “the aircraft attempted to lower a radio down to the vessel and observed one person and two dogs aboard the vessel. The person then pointed what appeared to be a firearm at the helicopter.”

According to the aircrew, they “heard objects striking the aircraft and immediately departed the scene due to aircraft and crew safety concerns. Upon returning to Air Station New Orleans, the aircrew observed impacts to the helicopter rotors consistent with projectiles from a firearm.”

Soon after, a Coast Guard joint team consisting of an aircraft and a vessel arrived to arrest the individual “without incident.” The USCG has yet to reveal what charges the individual faces.

Following the incident, USCG authorities spoke about the importance of safety on the water for both boaters and watchstanders.

“Safety of life was our number one priority during this challenging incident,” said Lt. Phillip VanderWeit, spokesperson for the Eighth Coast Guard District. “Through the professional and skillful work of our crews and interagency partners, we were able to bring this incident to a peaceful resolution. The Coast Guard will continue to work across multiple levels of government to thoroughly investigate this incident.”