MARCO ISLAND, Fla. - Two people were rescued by Coast Guard crewmembers and Collier County Sheriff's Department members from a 37-foot sailing vessel after they became disabled in heavy seas 13 miles southwest of Marco Island on Monday.
One person was retrieved from the boat around 7:00 p.m., but due to inclement weather, officials were unable to rescue the second person.
A 41-foot Utility Boat crew from Coast Guard Station Fort Myers Beach was launched in eight-foot seas, and arrived on scene approximately three hours later. The UTB crew was able to take the sailing vessel in tow and commenced the seven-hour transit to meet Boat U.S. to be relieved from the tow.
Boat U.S. members relieved the UTB crew at approximately 5:20 a.m., and moored the sailing vessel at Marco Island Marina.
No injuries were reported.
"It is imperative boaters check the weather before taking to the seas," said Lt. Mark Upson, a search and rescue watchstander at the sector. "Weather can be very unpredictable, so checking weather conditions can help boaters stay safe on the water."