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Press Release | April 21, 2024

Coast Guard, partners rescue 2 kayakers near Sunshine Skyway Bridge

Public Affairs Detachment Tampa Bay - 305-965-4672

Editor’s Note: Find all U.S. Coast Guard Southeast imagery on Dvids

CLEARWATER, Fla. — A Coast Guard Station Cortez boat crew rescued two people, Saturday, after their kayak flipped within the vicinity of the Sunshine Skyway Bridge.

Station Cortez watchstanders were notified around 8 p.m., through a 911-connected mobile app, that Manatee and Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office marine rescue crews were responding to kayakers in distress.

The Station Cortez boat crew retrieved both kayakers from the water around 8:25 p.m. and transferred them to an Eckerd College Search and Rescue boat crew. The people were transported to O'Neill's Marina, no injuries were reported and the kayak was recovered.

“The proper use of life jackets and coordination between partner agencies aided the rescue of both people,” said Lt. Casey Skomer, an operations unit controller at Sector St. Petersburg. “All kayakers are reminded to have a life jacket, sound-making device, and a light if paddling at night.”

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