■ STAFF REPORT
The Coast Guard rescued two St. Petersburg fishermen after their 37-foot boat sank 52 miles northwest of Boca Grande, Florida, early Monday.
At 2:27 a.m., watch standers from Coast Guard Sector St. Petersburg received multiple Mayday calls via marine radio VHF-FM channel 16 from the captain of the commercial fishing boat, Ruby-D, stating his boat was sinking and, along with his crewmember, he was abandoning ship.
An MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter rescue crew from Coast Guard Air Station Clearwater and a 45-foot Response Boat-Medium boat crew from Station Cortez, Florida, were launched to the last known location of the activated EPIRB. The boat crew arrived on scene at approximately 4:25 a.m., spotted a strobe light in the distance and quickly located the fishermen in a life raft nearby.
The fishermen reported having stepped into the life raft just as the boat sank, and they used a strobe light and flares to help signal the rescue crews to their location.
“These two men were quick to react to a life-threatening situation,” said Petty Officer 2nd Class Kyle Gaub, the coxswain aboard the RB-M. “They utilized all the correct safety equipment, including an EPIRB, strobe light and flares, which helped our search ten-fold.”
The RB-M crew brought both fishermen aboard and transported them safely back to Station Cortez.
There were no reported injuries.