The U.S. Coast Guard rescued five people from a 24-foot boat that capsized 24 miles southwest of the Withlacoochee River Saturday afternoon.
A distress call was sent out around 12:17 p.m. from one of the boaters stating “we’re going down,” according to Coast Guard Sector St. Petersburg. They also activated their location beacons and clung to the boat as they waited for help.
A Jayhawk helicopter from Clearwater was sent to assist the boaters and arrived at 1:06 p.m. The Coast Guard recorded video of the rescue.
All five of the boaters were wearing their life jackets and no injuries were reported, a news release said. Lt. Andrew Schwalbenberg, a pilot and public affairs officers from Air Station Clearwater, said they did everything right.
“These boaters are an excellent example of the importance of having emergency safety gear. By activating their personal position-indicating radio beacon, that alert gave rescuers a pin-point location of their distress,” he said.
The five boaters were taken to George Lewis Airport and a hazard to navigation warning was issued by the Coast Guard to alert other mariners about the capsized boat.