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Press Release | May 13, 2024

Coast Guard rescues 3 people, 1 dog 35 miles off Clearwater

Public Affairs Detachment Tampa Bay - 305-965-4672

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

CLEARWATER, Fla. — Coast Guard crews rescued three people and one dog, Monday, after their vessel began taking on water 35 miles west of Clearwater.

Coast Guard Sector St. Petersburg watchstanders received a distress call through VHF-FM channel 16 around 5:30 a.m. from three people reporting their 47-foot vessel was taking on water.

A Coast Guard Air Station Clearwater MH-60T Jayhawk helicopter aircrew and Coast Guard Station Sand Key 45-foot Response Boat-Medium boat crew spotted all three people aboard their vessel at approximately 6:45 a.m. The aircrew deployed their rescue swimmer who swam two people from the 47-foot vessel to the response boat in 5 to 6-foot seas and 10-15 knot winds. The boat crew retrieved both boaters from the water and transferred two boat crewmen with a Coast Guard P6 pump to dewater the vessel once the sea state improved.

Upon boarding the vessel the boat crew observed the vessel taking on water through a broken window. Using a mattress and boat hooks, the boat crew was able to plug and shore the window, effectively stopping the flooding.

The boat crew escorted the vessel and passengers to Clearwater Harbor Marina around 6:30 p.m. and no injuries were reported.

“Coast Guard crews constantly train for shipboard emergencies to mitigate flooding, and part of that training includes improvising in emergency situations,” said Petty Officer 1st Class Jesse, Guitierrez, Coast Guard Station Sand Key operations officer. “When we saw water filling the lower cabin area through a hole that big, improvise is exactly what we did. I couldn’t be prouder of all our crews today for upholding the highest Coast Guard standard and ensuring the best possible outcome.”

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