MADEIRA BEACH — Authorities rescued six people from a sinking boat Thursday afternoon about six miles from John's Pass.
The group of three men and three women, who were visiting from Pennsylvania and New Jersey, ventured onto the waters off Madeira Beach to go diving, sheriff's officials said.
Their captain, William K. Kadryna, 39, of Northumberland, Penn., had borrowed a 24-foot Grady White boat, the Miss Kathy Too, from a friend, authorities said. Drifting near the Treasure Island Reef, west of John's Pass, 3- to 4-foot waves began to spill into the boat about 4:30 p.m.
The boaters tried to rid the boat of water using a pump, but it would not work, authorities said. The waves continued to spill inside and Miss Kathy Too began to roll on her side. That's when they called for help.
Pinellas County sheriff's marine units were dispatched to scene around 4:30 p.m. The U.S. Coast Guard, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission and a marine team from Eckerd College also responded.
The stranded boaters fired flares into the sky above the sinking vessel to direct the rescuers. By the time authorities arrived, all six were clad in lifejackets and floating in the water, authorities said.
FWC rescuers brought four boaters back to Don's Dock in Madeira Beach and sheriff's deputies rescued the remaining two, officials said.
One of the rescued women complained of skin irritation, sheriff's officials said, a condition rescuers said came from contact with spilled fuel in the water. She was treated at the scene. No one else was injured.
The Miss Kathy Too remained partially submerged Thursday night as a tow boat tried to raise it from the water to tow it to shore, authorities said.