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Coast Guard rescue 2 sailors 57 nm from Apalachicola

Archive image: An MH-60T crew from Coast Guard Air Station Clearwater conducts training exercises, MacDill Air Force Base, Florida, May 14, 2021.
Air crews must conduct rigorous training to maintain proficiencies and prepare for the myriad of scenarios they could encounter.
U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Lisa Ferdinando.

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla.​ — Coast Guard aircrews rescue two sailors from a 42-foot sailing vessel beset by weather 57 nautical miles of Apalachicola, Saturday.

Rescued were: Richard Moore, 72, and John Ulrich, 77.

An Air Station Clearwater MH-60T Jayhawk rescue helicopter crew arrived on scene, hoisted the two mariners, and safely transferred them to Air Station Clearwater with no medical concerns.

Coast Guard 8th​ District Command Center watchstanders notified​ Coast Guard 7th District watchstanders reporting two people aboard a sailing vessel in distress due to sea conditions.​ The watchstanders directed the launch of a Coast Guard Jayhawk helicopter crew and diverted an HC-130 Hercules aircraft crew to assist.

«Forecasted severe weather can put even the most experienced mariners at risk,” said Lt. Jonathan Ray, Jayhawk MH-60T Jayhawk Medium-Range Recovery Helicopter pilot at Coast Guard Air Station Clearwater. “With that said, it’s fortunate we arrived on scene when we did because the weather was getting worse by the minute. The crew did a fantastic job in incredibly challenging and complex conditions to rescue these men before the sea could overtake their vessel.”

Local authorities will coordinate commercial salvage operations to remove the vessel from the water and monitor the situation to assist if conditions worsen.

Coast Guard Sector Mobile watchstanders reported 34 mph winds and 10-foot seas.

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