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Press Release | March 15, 2024

Coast Guard rescues man 185 miles offshore Fort Myers

Public Affairs Detachment Tampa Bay - 305-965-4672

Editor's note: All Coast Guard Southeast imagery can be found on DVIDS, here.

CLEARWATER, Fla. —  A Coast Guard Air Station Clearwater aircrew rescued a 72-year-old man, Friday, after his 40-foot sailing vessel took on water 185 miles west of Fort Myers. 

The Air Station Clearwater MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter and C-27J Spartan airplane crews spotted the man, at approximately 12 p.m.. The helicopter hoisted the man off his sinking vessel and transported him to Tampa Fire Rescue emergency medical services at Peter O. Knight Airport to receive a higher level of care.

Coast Guard Sector St. Petersburg watchstanders received the man's distress call over VHF radio channel 16, at approximately 8 a.m., where he reported his position, his vessel taking on water and activated an emergency position indicating radio beacon (EPIRB).

"Coast Guard crews were able to complete this rescue quickly and efficiently thanks to the boater having a properly registered EPIRB aboard his vessel,” said Petty Officer 1st Class Michael D. Dinapolis, Coast Guard Sector St. Petersburg command center watchstander. “We encourage all boaters to adhere to safe boating in case they find themselves in an emergency out at sea, like the one we responded to today. Safe boating will increase your odds of survival no matter the circumstance.”

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