Off-Duty Coast Guard Pilot Saves Two
He helped pull them out of the water near John’s Pass after their boat sank.
MADEIRA BEACH – An off-duty Coast Guard helicopter pilot and his family rescued two people from the water Saturday (Aug. 25) near John’s Pass.
Rescued were a 51-year-old Clearwater man and a 39-year-old woman from Seminole.
Coast Guard Lt. j.g. Justin Pacheco, an MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter pilot from Air Station Clearwater, was out on his 21-foot boat with his family when he noticed something.
“We came around a corner, and I saw a blue stripe going up in the air,” Pacheco said. “It was the nose of the boat. I thought, ‘That doesn’t look right.'”
He said the 22-foot boat capsized within 10 seconds, leaving two people in the water. Pacheco and his family dialed 911 and went to work.
Pacheco navigated his boat to the two people, and helped pull them out of the water. He explained, “That’s what any boater would do.”
A Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office marine unit, and a Seminole Fire Rescue boat crew also responded.
Seminole Fire Rescue took the couple to the Madeira Beach Marina. There were no reported injuries.
The 22-foot boat poses a hazard to navigation, Coast Guard officials said.
The owner of the 22-foot boat is working with commercial salvage to remove the boat. Mariners are requested to keep a sharp lookout for all possible hazards to navigation, and listen to local notice to mariners broadcasts for hazard updates. Local notice to mariners is broadcasted twice daily via VHF-FM marine band radio.
Photo shows a Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office marine unit as it maneuvers near a 22-foot capsized boat near John’s Pass. Photo courtesy of the U.S. Coast Seventh District PA Detachment Tampa Bay.
Coast Guard | Rescued Boaters | Boating | John’s Pass | Tampabay News
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