Florida Keys News
Tuesday, January 1, 2013
Coast Guard sees busy weekend on the water

Three people were taken to the hospital in separate incidents from Key Largo to Key West over the weekend in a busy year's end for the Coast Guard.

There were 14 calls for emergency service Saturday and Sunday, including one kayaker who suffered a seizure near Mule Keys and two teenagers also in a kayak who were reported overdue off Key Largo, said Coast Guard Sector Key West spokeswoman Kara Lavin.

In all there were two medical calls, two cases with people in the water, one vessel grounding, one vessel adrift and one vessel taking on water, Lavin said.

Of the major incidents, the first came at 10:51 a.m. Saturday, when a 53-year-old woman who was kayaking in the vicinity of Mule Key -- in the easternmost of the Mule Keys that are nine miles off Key West -- was having a seizure while on a kayak tour, according to the Coast Guard. A good Samaritan aboard the sailboat Danger called rescuers.

The Coast Guard launched a boat and the woman was brought back to Station Key West where paramedics were waiting.

Later, at 5:50 p.m. Saturday a 15-year-old and a 13-year-old had left John Pennekamp State Park aboard a red kayak and were overdue in returning, Lavin said. The teenagers were supposed to be back at the park at 5 p.m.

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, the Monroe County Sheriff's Office and the Coast Guard all responded as well as the Key Largo Fire Department. The Coast Guard was preparing to launch a helicopter when the children were found, unharmed, by the Coast Guard and returned to the park, Lavin said.

On Sunday at 12:26 a.m., Coast Guard launched a boat from Station Key West after the tug boat Leslie Foss reported a crewman was suffering from chest and abdominal pain about three miles northwest of Key West, Lavin said.

The man was brought back to Station Key West to awaiting paramedics.

Later, at 9:26 a.m. Sunday the Coast Guard responded to a man who fell out of a dinghy in Key West Harbor. That man was also taken to paramedics ashore, Lavin said.

alinhardt@keysnews.com

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