Coast Guard rescues 8, including child, after boat capsizes 36 miles west of Boca Grande

According to officials, a Coast Guard Air Station Clearwater aircrew rescued a child and seven adults on Saturday.

Authorities say the boaters reported that their vessel was sinking and activated an Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon. The Coast Guard Sector St. Petersburg watchstanders received the boaters' distress call through VHF-FM channel 16.

Their 28-foot boat capsized 36 miles west of Boca Grande, according to officials.

Authorities say the Air Station Clearwater MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter aircrew honed in on a signal coming from the boaters’ Personal Locator Beacons. The crew says they spotted the devices' strobe lights and found all eight people wearing life jackets while holding onto a cooler.

READ: Pinellas emergency management turns focus to residents who live on boats this hurricane season

According to the aircrew, they got each person out of the water and took them to emergency medical services at Venice Municipal Airport.

"The boaters in distress carried close to every piece of lifesaving equipment we encourage the public to carry onboard their vessel," said Petty Officer 3rd Class Santiago Gomez, Coast Guard Public Affairs Detachment Tampa Bay in a press release. "Life jackets, an EPIRB, a PLB, visual signaling devices and a marine grade radio with VHF-FM channel 16 improve our Coast Guard crews’ abilities to locate mariners in distress and increase the chances of a positive outcome to bring them safely home. Today marks the beginning of the 2024 Atlantic Hurricane Season, and these safe boating practices make a difference year-round."

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