ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – Five boaters survived after their ship suddenly began to sink off the coast of St. Petersburg.
[WATCH RESCUE VIDEO AT BOTTOM OF STORY]
The U.S. Coast Guard says members on a training mission spotted the group from the skies.
All of them were hanging onto debris from the "Two Georges" charter fishing boat out of Tarpon Springs.
“When the boat started sinking, the men began throwing life jackets, coolers and safety gear in the water” said Mack, one of the rescued boaters.
An Emergency Position Indicating Radio was also in the supplies with the boaters. Thankfully, the device led crews to their position.
"It was a wonderful sight," said Mack.
A 45-foot rescue boat from the U.S. Coast Guard Station Sand Key was launched and managed to pick up all five boaters, who were in good condition.
"We recommend all boaters have a registered EPIRB, and know where all their equipment is in case of an emergency." Petty Officer 3rd Class Matthew Whitaker said.
Coast Guard, good Samaritan rescue 5 boaters after boat capsizes
Show some love for U.S. Coast Guard Air Station Clearwater HC-130 Hercules airplane crewmembers who had eagle eyes! While on a training flight, the crew spotted five boaters clinging to debris in the water and immediately deployed a life raft. U.S. Coast Guard Sector St Petersburg watchstanders issued an Urgent Marine Information Broadcast via VHF-FM radio channel 16. A good Samaritan aboard the "Two Georges", a charter fishing boat from Tarpon Springs, responded to the broadcast and rescued the boaters from the water. Mack, one of the rescued boaters, said when the boat started sinking the men began throwing life jackets, coolers and safety gear in the water. "Most importantly we had an EPIRB." Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacons send boaters' positions to rescue personnel once activated in an emergency. Coast Guard District Seven watchstanders received the EPIRB signal, but the Hercules crew had already spotted the five boaters in the water. "It was a wonderful sight," said Mack, who saw the Hercules crew about 15 minutes after entering the water. A U.S. Coast Guard Station Sand Key 45-foot Response Boat-Medium crew was launched. The boatcrew transferred the boaters from the Two Georges to the RB-M and transported them back to the station with no reported injuries. "Readily accessible safety equipment is so important," said Petty Officer 3rd Class Matthew Whitaker, a Station Sand Key crewmember who transported the boaters to shore. "We recommend all boaters have a registered EPIRB, and know where all their equipment is in case of an emergency."Posted by U.S. Coast Guard Southeast on Thursday, June 28, 2018