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Coast Guard rescue crews assists fishing vessel 80 miles off Key West

Coast Guard rescue crews assists fishing vessel 80 miles off Key West
A Coast Guard Air Station Cape Cod HC-144 Ocean Sentry aircraft flies over Fort Adams Tuesday, May 8, 2018 in Newport, Rhode Island. The Ocean Sentry is designed to serve as an on-scene command platform for search and rescue and homeland security operations.
U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Andrew Barresi.

MIAMI — Coast Guard rescue crews assisted the 40-foot fishing vessel Santa Maria, Thursday, after the crew launched two flares signaling their distress approximately 80 miles southwest of Key West.​

A nearby good​ Samaritan saw the flares and reported to Coast Guard Sector Key West watchstanders the Santa Maria crew’s distress. The good Samaritan stayed within radar contact of the vessel until Coast Guard crews​ arrived on scene.​

A HC-144 Ocean Sentry​ aircrew arrived on scene first and established communication with Santa Maria’s crew. They reported the vessel was taking on water and had a steering casualty. The fishing crew repaired the issues and was heading to Conch Harbor Marina.​

The aircrew stayed on scene until​ Coast Guard Cutter Richard Etheridge’s crew arrived. They escorted the vessel as far as the Key​ West sea buoy when a Station Key​ West crew took over the escort back to the marina.​

Coast Guard rescue crews assists fishing vessel 80 miles off Key West
Coast Guard HC-144 Ocean Sentry airplane rescue crew monitors a disabled fishing vessel approximately 80 miles southwest of Key West, Jan. 14, 2021. Coast Guard crews escorted the boat back to Conch Harbor Marina.
U.S. Coast Guard photo.

«Having good-working flares on board ensured we knew this vessel was in distress and could go assist,» said Petty Officer 2nd Class Kellyann Sage, situation unit watchstander, Sector Key West. «It’s also imperative to ensure your boat has a good working radio and to check if your life jackets and other safety equipment is in good working condition.»

If vessel crews see someone distress, please use VHF Channel 16 to report the emergency to the Coast Guard.​

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