Getting rescued by the Coast Guard

Published on November 18th, 2023

Sailing legend Donald Street has swallowed more saltwater than most of us will ever sail on, and there may not be a subject he is more passionate about than sailors being prepared for adversity.

Top of that list is bilge pumps as he has found in his years is that trouble occurs when the pumps are either inadequate or do not work. We sense that was the case with this incident that required a Coast Guard rescue near Clearwater, FL:

A Coast Guard Air Station Clearwater MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter aircrew rescued two people and their dog on November 18 about 90 miles off Hernando Beach after their sailboat became disabled. The couple and their dog were brought back to Air Station Clearwater in good health.

Coast Guard Sector St. Petersburg watchstanders received a digital selective calling alert, at approximately 11:00 am, alerting the Coast Guard to the mariners’ distress. It was reported a porthole broke allowing water to get into the vessel damaging some of the electronics.

“A DSC alert allows mariners to instantly send an automatically formatted distress alert to the Coast Guard or other rescue authority anywhere in the world,” said Lt. j.g. Connor Sullivan, command duty officer, Sector St. Petersburg. “Due to the reported water ruining the system, this alert gave us their last known position and allowed us to investigate because the owners registered it to their equipment.”

Salvage for the vessel is being coordinated.

Editor’s note: As the photo above shows, the sailboat does not appear to be in distress.

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