Saturday, June 16, 2018
Public safety

Coast Guard rescues four after boat sinks 14 miles west of Tarpon Springs

TARPON SPRINGS — Fourteen miles off the coast of Tarpon Springs, a fisherman used his cell phone to call 911.

His 34-foot fishing boat was sinking around 10 a.m. Friday with three others aboard.

Pasco County emergency dispatchers took the call and notified the U.S. Coast Guard Sector St. Petersburg.

Just before 1 p.m., a Coast Guard helicopter spotted and rescued two men in the water, wearing life jackets and clinging to a cooler.

But the two other men had decided to swim to shore, Coast Guard officials said.

A passing boat found one of them. Coast Guard crews continued to search for an hour before the helicopter discovered the fourth fisherman.

The men were treated for hypothermia after floating in the 67-degree water, but reported no other injuries. One was taken to a hospital.

Coast Guard officials encourage people to stay together in these situations to make it easier to locate everyone. Officials also recommended keeping aboard boats distress-indicating devices, such as certain types of radios that can send out signals to pinpoint positions in emergencies.

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