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Press Release | May 11, 2024

Coast Guard rescues 5 boaters in under 3 hours near Tampa Bay

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 Station St. Petersburg crew rescued five mariners in under 3 hours Saturday, near Tampa Bay.

Coast Guard Sector St. Petersburg watchstanders received a distress call through VHF radio channel 16 around 11:13 a.m. from four men aboard a sinking 24-foot boat near Gandy Bridge.

A Station St. Petersburg boat crew recovered all four men next to their partially submerged and aground vessel and transported them to Gandy Boat Ramp. No injuries were reported and the boat owner is coordinating vessel recovery.

Watchstanders were contacted again, around 1 p.m., by Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office dispatch stating a woman sustained a head injury while driving a personal watercraft near Shell Key.

The Station St. Petersburg boat crew embarked a Tierra Verde Fire Rescue crew while a St. Petersburg Fire Rescue crew retrieved the injured woman. The St. Petersburg Fire Rescue crew transferred the woman to Station St. Petersburg and Tierra Verde Fire Rescue crews, where they provided first aid and transported the woman to EMS at Fort De Soto Boat Ramp to receive a higher level of care.

“Coordination between partner agencies led to the successful rescue of five boaters in approximately 3 hours,” said Chief Petty Officer Jean Latimer, a Coast Guard Sector St. Petersburg Command Duty Officer. “We are honored to work alongside such professional and efficient local partners and want to take this time to remind boaters to have a U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jacket readily available at all times." 

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