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Coast Guard saves 8 people, including child, as boat overturns 36 miles off Florida coast

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A U.S. Coast Guard aircrew recently rescued seven adults and one child after their 28-foot boat capsized off the coast of Boca Grande, Florida. The dramatic rescue took place 36 miles west of Boca Grande, near Fort Myers. The boaters activated an Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon (EPIRB), allowing the Coast Guard to locate them quickly. The aircrew of an MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter spotted the beacon’s strobe lights and found all eight individuals wearing life jackets and clinging to a cooler.

In a video of the rescue, the Coast Guard helicopter can be seen hovering above the stranded boaters before lifting them from the water. The aircrew hoisted each person out of the water and transported them to emergency medical services at Venice Municipal Airport. Fortunately, no injuries were reported during the incident. The distress call from the boaters was received by the Coast Guard Sector St. Petersburg in Florida through VHF-FM channel 16.

Petty Officer 3rd Class Santiago Gomez, from the Coast Guard Public Affairs Detachment Tampa Bay, emphasized the importance of carrying necessary lifesaving equipment on board. The boaters in distress had all the recommended lifesaving equipment on board, including life jackets, an EPIRB, a Personal Locator Beacon (PLB), visual signaling devices, and a marine-grade radio with VHF-FM channel 16. These items greatly assisted the Coast Guard crews in locating the boaters in distress and ensuring a positive outcome.

As the 2024 Atlantic Hurricane Season began, the Coast Guard highlighted the significance of practicing safe boating habits throughout the year. Sarah Rumpf-Whitten, a breaking news writer for Fox News Digital and Fox Business, reported on the dramatic rescue from her base in Orlando, Florida. She encouraged individuals to send any story tips or ideas to her email address. The successful rescue operation serves as a reminder of the crucial role played by the U.S. Coast Guard in responding to maritime emergencies and ensuring the safety of boaters in distress.

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