Coast Guard Saves Eight Individuals in The Gulf of Mexico Who Are Holding onto A Cooler!

CLEARWATER, Fla. – Eight individuals, including a child, narrowly escaped tragedy after their 28-foot boat sank in the Gulf of Mexico. The U.S. Coast Guard executed a swift aerial rescue operation approximately 40 miles west of Southwest Florida on Saturday.

The Coast Guard received a distress call reporting that the vessel was taking on water, prompting the activation of their Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon (EPIRB). A helicopter crew from Coast Guard Air Station Clearwater was dispatched and located the stranded boaters using signals from the beacon. Upon arrival, they found the group clinging to a cooler for buoyancy.

Coast Guard Saves Eight Individuals in The Gulf of Mexico Who Are Holding onto A Cooler

The helicopter crew safely hoisted all individuals from the water and transported them to Venice Municipal Airport. First responders checked them for injuries, but initial reports indicated that none required significant medical attention.

Petty Officer 3rd Class Santiago Gomez praised the boaters for carrying essential lifesaving equipment, including life jackets, an EPIRB, a Personal Locator Beacon (PLB), visual signaling devices, and a marine-grade radio with VHF-FM channel 16. “These tools improve our ability to locate mariners in distress and increase the chances of a positive outcome,” Gomez stated.

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The cause of the vessel’s taking on water remains unknown, and weather conditions were reportedly calm at the time. According to U.S. Department of Transportation statistics, the Coast Guard annually responds to approximately 35,000 cases nationwide, saving over 4,000 lives.

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