The Coast Guard and Coast Guard Auxiliary rescued two men from the water Saturday after their 24-foot boat sank 40 miles west of Bradenton. Rescued were Larry Mccain, 52, from Parrish, and Dennis Amo, 64, from Sarasota.
At 10:30 a.m., a Personal Locator Beacon notification alerted Coast Guard District 7 Miami watchstanders the men were in distress.
A Coast Guard Auxiliary air crew was diverted from its patrol and located the two men wearing life jackets clinging to the hull of the boat.
Video by Petty Officer 2nd Class Ashley Johnson
A MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew from Air Station Clearwater launched and hoisted the men from the water. The men were transported to Air Station Clearwater to await transportation home.
No injuries were reported.
Mccain reported the men left the 59th St. boat ramp in Bradenton early Saturday morning to fish. After fishing for red grouper for a few hours, suddenly the back of the boat was under water. He said the men threw the fish in the boat and tried to drive the boat forward, but there wasn’t enough power to overcome the weight of the water. The men were in approximately 3-foot seas.
“It was a matter of 10 minutes that the boat went down,” said Amo. “We tried bailing out the water, but the bilge pump stopped. Batteries went underwater, and then I grabbed my PLB.”
Amo wants other fisherman to take note of their story.
“People need to have an EPIRB/PLB,” said Amo. “If you had asked me this morning if I needed to have one, I would’ve said no. The boat was in perfect condition.”
Holding up his PLB, Amo said, “This was the difference between a couple hours on the water or a couple days of tragedy.”
“They did everything right in a scary situation,” said Capt. Matthew Thompson, Coast Guard Sector St. Petersburg commander. “They had all their safety equipment, put on their life jackets and activated their personal locator beacon at the first sign of an emergency.”
A safety marine information bulletin is being broadcasted for the drifting 24-foot capsized vessel with twin engine outboards, which has 80 gallons fuel onboard.