At approximately 7:21 p.m., Miami-Dade dispatch sent USCG Sector Miami watchstanders a report of 10 people in the water from a capsized 20-foot pleasure craft.
Watchstanders directed the launch of a Coast Guard Station Miami 33-foot Special Purpose Craft—Law Enforcement crew who arrived on scene with marine assets from the Miami-Dade Fire Department and Fast Response Marine Towing and Salvage.
They rescued the people from the water while Fast Response re-righted the capsized boat, transferred the people back onto the boat and towed them to a boat ramp near Sea Spice Restaurant with no reported injuries.
Lt. j.g. Joseph Sprouse, Sector Miami command duty officer, commented:
While this was a successful rescue, we can’t stress enough that everyone who goes out on a boat needs to have a life vest on, not just children. Life vests can greatly increase chances of success when it comes to search and rescue cases.
Earlier in 2018, the USCG has issued a summary of important safety measures that can be life-saving in recreational boating:
- Wearing a life jacket can save your life. Children are not exempt.
- Alcohol use is the leading known contributing factor in fatal boating accidents.
- Always have a marine VHF radio on your boat, along with an EPIRB (Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon) in case of emergency, as cell phones may not be dependable while out on the water.
- Be sure you are not operating a boat or watercraft that is beyond your level of knowledge and handling skill.
- Take a boating safety course or get a free safety check from the US Coast Guard Auxiliary.
- Small boats and shallow water don’t make for instant safety.