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5 children, 2 adults rescued from boat in Amelia Island

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Updated: 12/01/2013 10:09 am
ATLANTIC BEACH, Fla. -- A total of seven passengers are on solid ground after their boat became disabled near the eastern shore of Nassau County.

According to a Coast Guard spokesperson, two adult males and five children were on a boat when they encountered problems around 2:45 p.m.

The Coast Guard said the boat crew reported their anchor was not holding and they were rapidly drifting ashore.

The children that were aboard are between 2-15 years old. The 2 adults -- identified as Keith Geirger and James Lee of Darian -- and the 15-year-old were rescued by helicopter and four children were rescued by a Florida Fish and Wildlife vessel.

The rescue helicopter landed at the Fernandina Beach Municipal Airport around 9:45 p.m. An ambulance was on scene as a precaution.

According to Petty Officer 1st Class Lauren Jorgensen, poor weather conditions made the rescue more challenging and the stranded vessel itself also caused some delays.

"Some of the rigging on the vessel made it difficult for the helicopter to conduct a hoist as well as weather conditions at the time, so it was multiple efforts. The shallow area that they were in made it difficult for boats to come alongside," said Jorgensen.

Jorgensen said eventually the weather permitted a Coast Guard rescue swimmer to be hoisted down to help passengers get out of the vessel.

No one was injured.

The adults and children were reunited at the Coast Guard station in Atlantic Beach on Saturday night.
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