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Coast Guard rescues sinking boat off Ponte Vedra Beach

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Updated: 10/15/2013 7:27 pm
MAYPORT, Fla. -- Four people were rescued from a sinking shrimp boat off the coast of Ponte Vedra Beach.

According to the Coast Guard, flooding was brought under control aboard the Sea King Tuesday morning.

The 88-foot shrimp boat was reportedly in distress about 2 miles off the coast. It had been taking on water since around 6:15 a.m. Reports stated there was water filling up the engine room.

Crews were dispatched by boat from Mayport; by air from Savannah; and by ground from JFRD. The Coast Guard reports that a 45-foot response boat from Mayport towed the boat to Mayport. The shrimp boat is using a de-watering pump to stay afloat. All four passengers are still on board.

Family members waited for hours at a port in Mayport for the boat to arrive.

Stephanie Parrish got a frantic call from her husband early Tuesday morning.

"I'm very thankful to God and the Coast Guard," said Parrish.

Once docked, gallons of water dumped out of the commercial shrimping boat. It was a sign of survival for the four-man crew.

The boat's captain, Matt Fernandez, said he was confident his crew would make it back.

"I was bringing it back," said Fernandez.

Fernandez is the only crew member who sought medical attention for a minor issue following the boat's return to Mayport.

The U.S. Coast Guard is now investigating what specifically caused the leak.

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hammy - 10/15/2013 9:13 AM
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I pray everyone aboard the boat is rescued in time to return home (to their families) safe and sound...
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