Seven people were rescued early Saturday morning after a 98-foot commercial passenger vessel ran aground in Longboat Pass.
Winston Knauss, captain and owner of the Miami-based Sir Winston, contacted the U.S. Coast Guard at around 3 a.m. The yacht had taken on some water and Tow Boat U.S. was unable to respond due to dense fog, so the Coast Guard Sector St. Petersburg Operations Center directed the launch of the Cortez station’s 25-foot response boat to respond at approximately 3:15 a.m.
The Cortez crew arrived on scene at 3:38 a.m., and were able to safely transfer three women and four men off the yacht. There were no injuries.
There was no water pollution as a result of the grounded vessel, so the responsibility of moving it rested with Knauss, according to petty officer Robert Simpson with the Coast Guard.
As of 6 p.m., the boat remained aground, pending removal from a salvage vessel, Simpson said.
Read more in Sunday's edition of the Bradenton Herald.