NEW PORT RICHEY — A pontoon boat partially submerged near Anclote Key Preserve State Park on Sunday, leading to a dramatic rescue of 13 people, deputies said.
No one was seriously injured in the incident, which Pasco Sheriff Chris Nocco credited to responders being "in the right place at the right time."
About 2:51 p.m., the 20-foot pontoon began to take on water. Deputies said authorities were still investigating, but the incident was likely a result of rough seas. Deputies said there were three-foot waves at the time.
Some of the passengers ended up in the water, while seven or eight remained perched on the boat, deputies said.
A passing dolphin-tour boat tossed life vests to the victims and other boaters rescued some of them before deputies from the sheriff’s Marine Unit pulled 10 people out of the water.
Once they got back to shore, two were taken to the hospital for treatment.
Nocco said the incident shows why people should heed small craft advisories from the National Weather Service and carry personal flotation devices, as required by law.
“If you’re going out on the water this summer, please be careful,” he said.
Contact Langston Taylor at firstname.lastname@example.org or 727-893-8659. Follow @langstonitaylor.