The U.S. Coast Guard found themselves busy this weekend, rescuing a total of 10 people in two separate missions, one on Saturday and another again on Sunday.
On Saturday night (Sept. 28th) the U.S. Coast Guard received a report just after midnight about a 24-foot boat carrying 5 occupants that had not arrived (as friends expected) at a pre-determined fishing spot in the Gulf of Mexico.
Fortunately, the five were located by an Air Station Clearwater MH-60 Jayhawk aircrew. The missing were found safe aboard the boat, which had a mechanical failure but had no marine radio. A Coast Guard boat from Ft. Myers Beach eventually brought the castaways to shore.
This rescue prompted the Coast Guard to remind all mariners they should be equipped with a marine-band radio to monitor channel 16 and also to have a float plan describing where they are destined for, and when they should return.
Then on Sunday afternoon (Sept. 29th), the Coast Guard report that they received a distress call around 11 am saying a boat was flooding in the stern, caused by a cracked transom.
A St. Petersburg Coast Guard Station 45 foot response boat was dispatched to help dewater the 25-foot boat. The Coast Guard rescued five more people from that boat, which was located near the Sunshine Skyway Bridge which spans the mouth of Tampa Bay.
The Guard then escorted the rescued people back to EG Simmons Regional Park in Tampa.