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USCG rescues 9 people from sinking vessel south of Destin

The United States Coast Guard rescued 9 people from sinking vessel. / Source: David Mosley / USCG

The Coast Guard rescued nine people from a sinking boat approximately 115 nautical miles south of Destin, Florida, Saturday.

Watch-standers at Coast Guard Sector Mobile received a call at about 9 p.m. Friday that a 61-foot sport-fisher boat was taking on water approximately 115 nautical miles south of Destin.

Since the vessel was so far off shore it took hours for the cutter to bring the people back in.

They were officially rescued around 4:30 a.m. on Saturday.

Involved in the rescue were:

• HC-144 Ocean Sentry fixed-wing aircrew from Coast Guard Aviation Training Center Mobile was first on the scene and delivered a dewatering pump and a radio to the vessel.

• MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter aircrew from Coast Guard Air Station Clearwater, Florida, who delivered a dewatering pump and radio to the vessel.

• MH-65 Dolphin helicopter aircrew from Coast Guard Air Station New Orleans.

• Coast Guard Cutter Kingfisher, who transferred the passengers of the vessel onto the cutter and towed the boat to approximately 40 nautical miles from Destin. SeaTow then took over the tow at that point.

• Good Samaritans aboard the vessel Brace Yourself.

• SeaTow, who took over the tow of the vessel at approximately 40 nautical miles from Destin.

Passengers of the flooding vessel were able to keep up with the flooding of the boat by manually bailing the water and using the dewatering pumps that were delivered.

All the people aboard the boat were wearing life-jackets, had two life rafts prepared, a satellite phone, an emergency position indicating radio beacon, and various sound and signaling devices. The Coast Guard was able to assist the distressed mariners due to the EPIRB being activated and the satellite phone being used to contact someone on land, and locate them due to the sound and signaling devices.

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