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Coast Guard rescues 13 people from sinking boat

Published May 19, 2013

The U.S. Coast Guard rescued 13 people whose boat sank Saturday morning off Sand Key Beach in Clearwater.

The 20-foot boat began taking on water about 11:30 a.m. with a family on board, officials said.

The sinking happened close to the Coast Guard station at Sand Key, making for a quick rescue. All of the boaters were taken safely to shore with the assistance of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, said Coast Guard spokesman Michael De Nice.

"Every single one of the passengers had their life jacket on," De Nice said. "That's really a responsible mariner there."

The boat was later towed back to shore. FWC officials were investigating the cause of the sinking.