Off-duty Coast Guard helicopter pilot rescues two after boat sinks

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An off-duty Coast Guard helicopter pilot and his family rescued a couple after their 22-foot boat sank off John's Pass Saturday, according to the USCG.

The couple, a man from Clearwater and a woman from Seminole, were on their boat when something went wrong.

Coast Guard Lt. Justin Pacheco, an MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter pilot from Air Station Clearwater, was in his boat with his family when he saw the nose of the vessel going up into the air. 

"We came around a corner, and I saw a blue stripe going up in the air," said Pacheco. "It was the nose of the boat. I thought, 'That doesn't look right.'"

Pacheo said the boat sank within 10 seconds, leaving its two occupants in the water. Pacheco said his family called 911 as they went to the couple's aid.

Seminole Fire Rescue transported the couple to Madeira Beach Marina. They did not report any injuries.

The USCG said the 22-foot boat currently poses a hazard to navigation. Its owner is working with commercial salvage to remove the boat. Mariners are asked to keep a sharp lookout for all possible hazards to navigation and listen to local notice to mariners broadcasts for hazard updates.