Coast Guard rescues 3 boaters 80 miles west of Tampa - WFLA News Channel 8

Coast Guard rescues 3 boaters 80 miles west of Tampa

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Coast Guard Cutter 'Nantucket' arriving back at port with rescued sailors Coast Guard Cutter 'Nantucket' arriving back at port with rescued sailors
'Grateful' adrift at sea. 'Grateful' adrift at sea.
ST PETERSBURG, FL -

The Coast Guard rescued three stranded sailors who were trapped 80 miles west of Tampa.

On Monday afternoon, the sailing boat ‘Grateful' was making its way from Louisiana to Cape Coral.  The three-man crew was delivering it to its owner when things went horribly wrong.

"It was nerve wracking," said sailor Brian Burke.  "By Monday morning, we had lost our engines, blown out a sail, and by that time we were adrift."

The crew sent out a distress signal.

"Within about an hour and 45 minutes we had a helicopter overhead, he was communicating with us," said sailor Craig Toomey.

Soon after, the Coast Guard Cutter 'Nantucket' was sent to the rescue.

"[The water] was pretty bad," Captain Ryan Waitt said.  "The biggest issue was the seas were building, we saw about 6 to 8 feet."

"It was a little dicey, and a little uncomfortable and not something I wanna do again anytime soon," said Cleve Fair, another sailor on board.

None of the men were hurt, and they were safely brought back to shore Tuesday afternoon.

"Let me tell you something, I can't say enough good things about the Coast Guard," said Fair.  "The way they handle things, the professionalism, coming to get us in a very difficult situation. [They] brought us aboard the Nantucket, made us comfortable, gave us some chow, made us feel good, and we ended up meeting the whole crew before it was over with."

Currently, the ‘Grateful' is still disabled and stranded at sea. The Coast Guard says the waters were too rough to bring it back in.

Crews will be sent on Wednesday to begin preparations to bring it back.

Despite this obvious mishap, these men still plan to finish the job they started, and deliver the boat to Cape Coral.


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