Monday, November 14, 2011

Recent Wrecks and Rescues

Bad luck and big waves combine to leave several boaters in need of rescue...

U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Stephen Lehmann.

Over the past few days, there have been a few boating rescues worth reporting on, as well as a tragic turn to the normally fun and exciting power boat races in Key West. Hopefully by sharing these stories from Texas and Florida we can help at least one person be a safer boater the next time they head out on the water...


Florida fishermen rescued
On Friday, the U.S. Coast Guard found three Orlando-area boaters 60 miles west-southwest of St. Petersburg after the trio went missing during a fishing trip. The three men had embarked on board a 22-foot boat from Clearwater on Wednesday afternoon, but did not return on Thursday as expected. Missing from this story is any mention of a VHF radio or an EPIRB, either of which may have gotten them rescued from the 8 to 12 foot seas 60 miles offshore a bit sooner. Here's a video clip on the story...
 


Sources for this story include Tampa Bay Online and the Miami Herald.

Rescued from a sinking sailboat
On Sunday, the U.S. Coast Guard rescued a man and a woman from a sinking sailboat - about 100 yards from the beach in southwest Texas. The two people, both in the their 40s, were rescued by helicopter, not far from the Port Aransas jetties (approximately 15 miles north).  From the multiple news reports we read about this incident, we know that the couple was found safe, and that their boat's name was the Majestic, but we don't know how big the boat was or what caused it to sink. The official Coast Guard release, however, states that the sailboat was caught in the surf, and the boat was out in 6 to 7 foot seas.

FOUND BECAUSE THEY USED A VHF RADIO
Since the Majestic called for help on channel 16 on a VHF radio, the Coast Guard crew used directional finding equipment to locate the source of the distressed vessel’s radio transmissions. The crew found the Majestic approximately 20 miles north of their initially reported position.

Tragedy at Key West Super Boat races
Super Boat International races, the longest running Offshore Series in North America featuring powerboats that race at speeds up to 200 mph, took place in 7 locations across the country this year and wrapped up with the 31st annual Super Boat International Key West World Championship over the past week.

Unfortunately, three racers died due to injuries sustained in two crashes in Key West, making it the deadliest week ever for the Key West event and the first deaths since 1995 (source: Miami Herald).  

For basic boating safety information, check out FirstBoat.com as well as the many boating safety articles on the Daily Boater.

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