Posted Friday, December 6, 2013
Two people were rescued from the water by the Coast Guard after their boat sank off the coast of Elliot Key, Fla., just before midnight Thursday.
A Coast Guard Air Station Miami MH-65 helicopter crew was flying when they witnessed two flares. The crew immediately diverted to the direction of the flares and within 10 minutes, arrived on scene and found one person in the water and one person clinging to the mast of a sunken sailboat.
After assessing the scene, a Coast Guard rescue swimmer was lowered into the water, and rescued both men.
“Despite the Coast Guard arriving within 10 minutes after sinking, one man had already drifted approximately 200-yards from the sailboat. Both men were prepared for a potential emergency and had flares, a VHF-radio, flashlights, and were wearing life jackets which made rescuing much easier in the pitch black conditions,” said Lt. Chris Branning, co-pilot involved in the rescue. “Their emergency safety equipment was their saving grace.”
Both men were brought back to Coast Guard Air Station Miami where they received basic medical attention.
Weather on scene at the time of the hoist was reported 15-18 knot winds and 5-7 foot seas.