FORT MYERS, Fla. - The Coast Guard assisted five fishermen after their vessel started to take on water 91 miles west of Sanibel Island, Fla., Saturday.
Sector St. Petersburg watchstanders received an alert 3:45 p.m., Friday, from an emergency beacon registered to the Penny V, a 68-foot commercial fishing vessel. Watchstanders conducted an Urgent Mariner Information Broadcast and learned the fishermen aboard the Penny V departed from Ft. Myers, Fla., en-route to Texas. Watchstanders diverted the crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Resolute, a 210-foot medium endurance cutter, to assist the distressed crew.
Once on scene at 6:30 p.m., the Resolute crew assisted with de-watering pumps and flooding control allowing the Penny V to get underway under its own power. The Resolute began escorting the Penny V to its home port in Fort Myers at approximatly 8 p.m.
The Coast Guard Cutter Hawk relieved the escort at 3:14 a.m., Saturday approximately 75 miles west of San Carlos Bay, Fla. The crew of the Hawk was relieved by a Station Ft. Myers 41-foot rescue boat crew at 3:30 p.m., who finished the escort to Erickson & Jensen Marina.
All passengers are reported to be in good condition.
"This is an excellent example on how important it is to have an Emergency Position-Indicating Radio Beacon aboard your vessel," said Lt. j.g. Benjamin Weber, a command duty officer at Coast Guard Sector St. Petersburg.
The Coast Guard will lead the investigation to find out how this incident happened.
The Coast Guard reminds all boaters that in the event of a maritime emergency, the use of a float plan, VHF radio, life jackets and an Emergency Position-Indicating Radio Beacon are critical on the waterways. For information on boating safety, please visit http://www.safeboatingcampaign.com.