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Press Release | May 17, 2023

Coast Guard rescues 1 and transfers 7 to after vessel collision 30 miles west of Sarasota

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — The Coast Guard rescued one male and transferred seven individuals to safety after their vessels collided near Sarasota, Florida, Wednesday.

A Coast Guard Air Station Clearwater MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew arrived on scene and transported one male passenger experiencing a head injury to Tampa General Hospital for higher medical care.

At approximately 5:40 a.m., Coast Guard Sector St. Petersburg command center watchstanders were notified of a 34-foot commercial fishing vessel with two people aboard and a 23-foot vessel with six people aboard reportedly colliding and both damaged. A Coast Guard Station Cortez rescue crews arrived after the report to assist.

“Through the activation of an emergency positioning indicating radio beacon, Coast Guard units were able to locate and assist the other seven people from the vessels in distress,” said Kevin Coyne, Coast Guard Sector St. Petersburg. “This rescue is a testament to the teamwork it takes to save lives.”

The owners are coordinating with commercial salvage for the vessels and the cause of the incident is currently under investigation.