Coast Guard rescues boater adrift over 13 hours west of Clearwater Beach

(Source: United States Coast Guard)

CLEARWATER, Fla. (WFLA) – The United States Coast Guard rescued a boater stranded 18 miles west of Clearwater Beach, after his sailboat’s engine and rudder failed Sunday evening.

The Coast Guard Sector St. Petersburg Command Center received a call at 10:55 p.m. Sunday from a concerned father who said his son was overdue.  He said his son departed Hudson at 7 a.m. that day, on his way to Palmetto.

The man said he last spoke with his son at 6:30 p.m., when he said he was dealing with engine problems near Hurricane Pass.

Watch standers launched air crews and a boat crew from Coast Guard Station Sand Key.

The air crew spotted the disabled sailboat at 8:30 a.m. Monday morning.

A rescue swimmer with a radio was lowered from the helicopter to assess the situation.  The boat crew arrived on scene and took the man aboard their ship and towed the sailboat to Clearwater Marina.

“This case was a prime example of fantastic teamwork between our Command Center, Station Sand Key and Air Station Clearwater,” said Chief Petty Officer William Wells, a command duty officer at Sector St. Petersburg.

“This could have quickly turned into a dangerous situation. Fortunately, we were able to locate this boater before any serious health and safety concerns became an issue.”

No injuries were reported in the rescue.

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