PUNTA GORDA, Fla.- A Coast Guard boatcrew from Station Fort Myers Beach rescued a 37-year-old male Punta Gorda resident after his boat capsized about one mile west of Mangrove Point, Thursday evening.
A 911 dispatcher notified Coast Guard watchstanders at Sector St. Petersburg at 7:30 p.m. after two people reported seeing a distressed mariner aboard a 14-foot boat taking on water.
Sector watchstanders were able to make brief contact with the man via cell phone when he stated he was lying on the capsized hull of his vessel with no life jacket on. The watchstanders directed the subject to continue to call 911, so the rescuers could pin-point his location.
Station Fort Myers Beach launched a boatcrew aboard a 33-foot Special Purpose Craft – Law Enforcement boat. The SPC-LE crew arrived on scene at 8:30 p.m., pulled the man off his hull and transferred him to Ponce Park where Charlotte County EMS was waiting.
No injuries are reported.
The Coast Guard recommends all mariners wear life jackets at all times while underway since many accidents occur quickly and unexpectedly. It is extremely difficult to locate and don a life jacket the moment an accident occurs. It is also highly encouraged to have a working VHF radio and Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon on board. Cell phones are not a reliable means of communication in an emergency at sea.