Members of the Clearwater-based Coast Guard crew who aided in the rescue
The C-130 returning from helping rescue 8 boaters off Honduras
CLEARWATER, FL (WFLA) -
Coast Guard video shows eight people waving to get the attention of their rescuers.
Soon after the video was taken, an Army helicopter hoisted them to safety, and flew them to Roatan, Honduras.
The 8 people aboard the small boat left Roatan on Saturday for a trip to the nearby island of Utila.
But their engine conked out, leaving them stranded for 4 days.
A Coast Guard crew, searching from a C-130 airplane, spotted them on their second day of scanning the water.
"The conditions were great. The winds were relatively calm. Not much white caps on the water. So it made visual searching great but we found them with the radar," said Lt. Commander Joe Boyes.
Jubilation filled the cockpit as the Clearwater-based Coast Guard crew knew they'd accomplished their mission.
"They're excited. They're happy to see us. We put a flare in the water to give off some white smoke to mark it for the helicopter. And they got real excited when they saw the flare go in the water," said Boyes.
The Coast Guard says the 8 people, including two American teens, are dehydrated and hungry, but otherwise fine after a harrowing adventure at sea.
For the Coast Guard crew, it's all part of a day's work.
"We don't do this for the money. Of course I like it. We don't get paid amazing. I love it. It's why I come to work every day," said Kenny Harris, a member of the crew.