Pasco County

Cousins rescued after canoes sink near Anclote Key

Two cousins were rescued Sunday afternoon after both of their canoes sank near Anclote Key, officials said.

The sinking vessels were first reported to watchstanders at the U.S. Coast Guard Sector St. Petersburg just before 2 p.m.

Crews came to the scene and rescued Jackie Mabe Jr., 27, from Hudson and his cousin Dustin L. Smith, 25, from Tampa. Both men were unharmed.

According to the Coast Guard, the two cousins had spent the night camping on Anclote Key and were headed back when their canoes started taking on water.  Made was able to make it to navigational beacon light 6 and tied off the canoe before it sank. Smith followed Mabe in his own canoe, but was unable to tie it off before it sank.

"It was not a good situation," said Mabe. "Don't underestimate Mother Nature."

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