No matter how small your boat is, it’s always important to have the proper equipment on board.
The Coast Guard rescued two persons in the water in the vicinity of Pinellas Point, FL on Saturday. At 1:42 p.m., watch-standers at Coast Guard Sector St. Petersburg received a mayday call from a 24-year-old male and a 25-year-old male stating that their 16-foot Hobie Cat recreational craft had capsized and that they were in need of immediate assistance.
At 1:55 p.m., Coast Guard Station St. Petersburg launched a 45-foot Response Boat-Medium boat crew to the scene. Once on scene at 2:07 p.m., the crew was able to safely recover both persons from the water. Crewmembers from Eckerd SAR responded, were able to re-right the Hobie Cat, and took it in tow.
Due to the shallow water depth, the two survivors were transferred to the Eckerd SAR vessel and taken back to shore. The two men were able to contact the Coast Guard due to the fact that they had brought hand-held radios on their trip. No injuries were reported.
In an effort to reduce the number of incidents on the water and to increase the safety of people on the water, the Coast Guard recommends protecting yourself against hypothermia by investing in a dry suit or other Coast Guard-approved full-body floatation survival gear (even in the warm waters of Florida), checking the local weather prior to departing the dock as it can change very rapidly, outfitting your boat with a functioning marine-band radio (using VHF 16 is the most reliable) as cell phones are typically an unreliable source of communication due to gaps in coverage and limited battery life, and carrying an EPIRB.
For more information, go to www.coastguardnews.com.