ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (WFLA) — Two men in their 70s were rescued from a 42-foot long sailboat, miles off the Apalachicola shore Saturday evening.
Video shows a Coast Guard crew hoisting a 72-year-old and a 77-year-old to safety aboard an MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter. The Coast Guard reported 34 mph winds and 10-foot seas at the time of the rescue.
An HC-130 Hercules aircraft was also redirected to assist in the operation.
“Forecasted severe weather can put even the most experienced mariners at risk,” said Lt. Jonathan Ray, Jayhawk MH-60 helicopter pilot at Coast Guard Air Station Clearwater. “With that said, it’s fortunate we arrived on scene when we did because the weather was getting worse by the minute.”
The helicopter crew safely transferred the men to Air Station Clearwater with no medical concerns.
“The crew did a fantastic job in incredibly challenging and complex conditions to rescue these men before the sea could overtake their vessel,” The Coast Guard said.
A commercial salvage operation will remove the sailboat from the water.