ST. PETERSBURG – The U.S. Coast Guard assisted four boaters suffering from hypothermia early Thursday morning when their vessel ran into trouble north of Pass-A-Grille.
A person aboard the vessel contacted Sector St. Petersburg at 11 p.m., Wednesday, Jan. 15, via VHF-FM channel 16 radio reporting he and three other boaters aboard a 17-foot recreational vessel were hypothermic, running out of fuel and needed assistance.
“While gathering information, the operator was not able to spell his last name," said Richard Hutchinson, a watchstander at the sector. "We then launched a boatcrew from Station St. Petersburg to the scene.”
Unable to continue to their destination due to heavy seas and running low on fuel the distressed boaters moored their vessel to a private dock near Tierra Verde High and Dry Marina. The Coast Guard requested emergency medical services to rendezvous to the scene and evaluate all people aboard.
“It is extremely important to monitor the weather prior to getting underway,” said Hutchinson. “Minor distress situations turn severe in minutes when a boater forgets to check the weather prior to departing.”
All boaters were treated and released by emergency responders and the Coast Guard towed the vessel to Tierra Verde High and Dry Marina at 2:03 a.m.