Couple and pet dog airlifted to safety from sailboat off coast of Gulf of Mexico

A couple and their pet dog were left stranded 90 miles out in sea when their boat got water damaged

Amelia Neath
Thursday 23 November 2023 15:05 GMT
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Coast Guard Rescues Sailors and Dog Stranded 90 Miles off Florida's Gulf Coast, USA

A couple and their pet dog were airlifted to safety after they found themselves stranded 90 miles off the coast of Florida.

The couple were sailing along the Gulf of Mexico on Saturday, accompanied by their small dog, when a broken porthole started to let in water, damaging the boat’s electronics, the Coast Guard wrote in a news release.

The porthole was thought to be damaged due to bad weather, Coast Guard spokesperson Santiago Gomez told CNN.

By 11am, the Coast Guard Sector St. Petersburg watchstanders received a distress call about the vessel that was stuck far off the coast of Hernando Beach, Florida.

Safe and wrapped up after the couple and their pooch were airlifted to safety

The aircrew received a digital selective calling (DSC) alert instantly from the boat as the vessel’s electronics started to shut down.

“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,” Lieutenant j.g. Connor Sullivan, the command duty officer at the Sector, said.

The Coast Guard’s aircrew followed the signal in an MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter and were able to rescue the mariner couple and the seafaring pooch.

The vessel’s electronics broke after water infiltraited their boat

The trio were lifted into the aircraft and were taken "to Air Station Clearwater in good health.”

After the group landed, a picture was snapped of the aircrew and the rescued party, in which the couple and the dog were now safe, wrapped up in blankets.

The Coast Guard said that the salvaging of the couple’s vessel was “being coordinated,” however Mr Gomez told the outlet that as of Wednesday, the location of the boat was unknown.

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