Coast Guard Station Mayport crew speaks out after saving family of five stranded at sea

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Action News spoke with the crew that helped rescue a family found sitting on a capsized boat out at sea.


The Coast Guard Station Mayport crew said the rescue could have escalated if the family hadn’t worn their lifejackets or stayed together.

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“The boat started taking water. Please help,” a family member said during the 911 emergency call.

A family of five was on top of their overturned boat after their bilge pump stopped working properly.

“Our boat is upside down. Will you be able to locate us? Our boat is sinking,” the 911 call continued.

The Coast Guard Station Mayport boat crew got the call and performed a rescue operation.

“If it hadn’t been for their speedy response to the search and rescue case, it could have ended much differently,” Mk2 Thomas Aveni said.

Upon arrival, the boat crew found the five individuals, all wearing lifejackets.

“That was a key factor in the success of this case. The fact they stayed with their boat and the ability of my crew that I am so proud of. They were able to get this boat underway quickly to save those guys,” Aveni said.

“Smiles across their faces as soon as we got up to them,” crew member Tyler Vance said.

The crew safely brought all five back to land. But their jobs weren’t over.

“I say two hours after we were done, we had another case by Sisters Creek of a boat taking on water. They ended up mooring their boat into the ramp so they wouldn’t sink,” crew member Christian Celino said.

That family was able to continue their Fourth of July holiday thanks to this rescue team.

“That’s why I Join the Coast Guide to help and save people,” crew member Misael Acocar said.

Officials encourage boaters to have a lifejacket and a personal locator beacon when on water.

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