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Coast Guard rescues 8 people clinging to cooler in Gulf of Mexico

todayJune 4, 2024 2

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CLEARWATER, Fla. – Eight people along the Florida coast are lucky to be alive after their 28-foot boat sank in the Gulf of Mexico, triggering a crew from the Coast Guard to perform an aerial rescue operation.The Coast Guard said the incident happened Saturday about 40 miles west of Southwest Florida.Rescuers originally received a distress call about the boat taking on water and that they had activated their Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon.A helicopter crew stationed at Coast Guard Air Station Clearwater was dispatched to the scene and was able to spot the boaters due to signals from the beacon.WATCH: DRAMATIC DOG RESCUE BY COAST GUARD AND EMOTIONAL REUNION IN OREGONUpon a closer flyby, the crew said many of the boaters, including at least one child, appeared to be huddled around a cooler that was afloat.The helicopter crew safely hoisted each person from the water and transported them to Venice Municipal Airport, where first responders checked out the group for injuries.According to initial reports from the Coast Guard, none of the boaters appeared to be injured or required significant medical attention.HOW TO WATCH FOX WEATHER”The boaters in distress carried close to every piece of lifesaving equipment we encourage the public to carry onboard their vessel,” Coast Guard Petty Officer 3rd Class Santiago Gomez said in a statement. “Life jackets, an EPIRB, a PLB, visual signaling devices and a marine grade radio with VHF-FM channel 16 improve our Coast Guard crews’ abilities to locate mariners in distress and increase the chances of a positive outcome to bring them safely home.”The Coast Guard did not state why it believes the vessel started taking on water, and weather conditions were not particularly hostile for boaters at the time of the incident. Every year, the agency responds to about 35,000 cases around the country, which result in more than 4,000 lives being saved, according to statistics by the U.S. Department of Transportation.

Written by: Badlands Classic Rock

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