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Coast Guard rescues 8 people, including a child, clinging to a cooler off the coast of Florida

All eight of the boaters were wearing life jackets and no injuries were reported.
Coast Guard rescues child, 7 adults 36 miles offshore Boca Grande Florida
Posted at 4:19 PM, Jun 03, 2024

A Coast Guard crew rescued eight people off the coast of Florida on Saturday who were clinging to a cooler after their boat capsized.

The incident happened about 36 miles west of Boca Grande in the southern part of the state. The Coast Guard said seven adults and one child were on board a 28-foot boat when it started to sink.

The boaters put out a distress call and activated an Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon. The Coast Guard Air Station Clearwater MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter aircrew honed in on the signal and spotted the device's strobe lights.

The aircrew hoisted each individual from the water and transported them to emergency medical services at Venice Municipal Airport.

All eight of the boaters were wearing life jackets and no injuries were reported.

"The boaters in distress carried close to every piece of lifesaving equipment we encourage the public to carry onboard their vessel,” said Petty Officer 3rd Class Santiago Gomez, Coast Guard Public Affairs Detachment Tampa Bay. “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. Today marks the beginning of the 2024 Atlantic Hurricane Season, and these safe boating practices make a difference year-round.”

This story was originally published by Brian McBride at Scripps News Tampa.