Brothers clinging to light in Tampa Bay rescued by Coast Guard

(U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Patrick Melo

TAMPA (WFLA) – Two brothers clinging to a light in the Tampa Bay were rescued Monday by the Coast Guard on Monday.

(U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Patrick Melo)

Tung Le, 47, and Thanh Le, 41, of Tampa, were in the water clinging to the Tampa Bay Cut Delta Channel outbound rear range light, the Coast Guard said.

The men said they were fishing aboard their 17-foot boat in the bay when their engine died and boat started taking on water. While they were working on the pump, the boat hit the range light.

They said were forced to cling to the navigation aid and call for help as the boat sank.

“It was dying down when we were out there and finally everything started going wrong,” said Thanh Le. “The waves started hitting while we were trying to fix the bilge in the back and when we turned around we were drifting out.”

A 911 call came in at 9:48 a.m. and a rescue crew from Station St. Petersburg arrived at 10:08 a.m.

The Coast Guard said the rescue happened just west of Cockroach Bay.

The fishermen were not injured.

“Especially now that we are in the Hurricane season, it’s imperative that mariners double check their local weather forecast before heading out on their next boating adventure,” said Petty Officer 2nd Class Alejandro Diaz, a crewmember aboard the rescue boat from Station St. Petersburg.

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