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Florida Keys News - Key West Citizen
Tuesday, April 29, 2014
Coast Guard rescues nine people off Key West

The Coast Guard rescued nine people Sunday afternoon after a boat sank about 18 miles southwest of Key West.

All nine people -- the Coast Guard generally does not release names and addresses -- were found in the water wearing life jackets and were rescued without serious injury after their 1:30 p.m. distress call, according to a press release.

Their 25-foot vessel was taking on water and they had no GPS onboard, but Coast Guard watchstanders in Key West were able to locate their position using the Rescue 21 System, which uses signal reception at multiple towers to triangulate vessel location, to narrow the search field.

A C-130 search plane from Coast Guard Station Clearwater found the capsized boat and nine people in the water. They alerted a response boat from Station Key West that rescued everyone.

One man had to be treated for minor cuts to the legs, but there were no serious injuries, said Lt. Peter Bermont.

The boat was marked as a hazard to navigation, but was being salvaged as of Monday morning, Bermont said.

It was unclear Monday what caused the boat to take on water, he added.

Watchstanders used the incident to remind mariners of the importance of having life jackets for everyone on board.

"By having a maritime radio and life jackets on board, the vessel operator's preparedness contributed to the success of the response," Petty Officer 1st Class Christopher Perkins said in a prepared statement.

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