CLEARWATER, Fla. (970 WFLA)- The Coast Guard rescued a boater 18 miles west of Clearwater Beach after his sailboat's engine and rudder failed, rendering the boat disabled and adrift since Sunday evening.
Coast Guard Sector St. Petersburg Command Center watch standers received a call at about 10:55 p.m. Sunday from a concerned family member who stated his son was overdue.
The father said his son departed Hudson at 7 a.m. Sunday en route to Palmetto. He last spoke with his son via cell phone at 6:30 p.m. Sunday when his son stated he was dealing with engine problems near Hurricane Pass.At approximately 11:05 p.m.
Sunday watch standers launched air crews aboard an MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter and an HC-130 Hercules airplane from Coast Guard Air Station Clearwater and a boat crew aboard 45-foot Response Boat - Medium (RBM) from Coast Guard Station Sand Key.
The Hercules air crew spotted the disabled and adrift sailboat at approximately 8:30 a.m. Monday. The Jayhawk crew arrived on scene and lowered a rescue swimmer with a radio to assess the situation and to establish communications. The RBM boat crew arrived on scene, took the boater aboard the RBM and towed the sailboat to Clearwater Marina.
No injuries were reported.
The Coast Guard reminds mariners to carry all required safety gear, including an emergency position-indicating radio beacon and to have a float plan before getting underway.
Photo Credit: U.S. Coast Guard