Coast Guard Searches for Missing Boaters

Wednesday, August 07, 2002
Coast Guard crews from Alabama and Florida are searching this morning for three boaters approximately three to five nautical miles north of Dog Island in St. George Sound, off the coast of Carrabelle, Fla. Rescue aircraft from Aviation Training Center Mobile, Ala., and Air Station Clearwater, Fla., a rescue boat from Station Panama City, Fla., and an 87-ft. patrol boat, the Coast Guard Cutter Bonito, from Pensacola, Fla., are searching for the boaters. About 6 p.m. Tuesday, Coast Guard Group Mobile received a distress call from a boater on the pleasure craft Sun Bird. A man told the Coast Guard his boat was taking on water. After five minutes, the boater said his radio was getting wet, and he couldn't take it anymore. An HU-25 Falcon rescue jet from ATC Mobile and an HH-60 Jayhawk rescue helicopter from Air Station Clearwater were immediately dispatched to the area of the distressed boaters. A rescue boat from Station Panama City was also sent to assist with the search. A Florida Wildlife Commission vessel and aircraft and a vessel from Sea Tow, a commercial salvage company, also responded. The Coast Guard wasn't able to ascertain any other pertinent information besides the boaters' geographical position, due to the brief communication between the Group Mobile watchstander and the distressed boater. The Coast Guard urges all boaters to keep proper safety equipment onboard their vessel. Life jackets, flares, fire extinguishers, and a VHF-FM radio are just a few examples of life-saving equipment every boater should have.

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