The following is a news release was submitted for publication by the U.S. Coast Guard:
Four boaters suffering from hypothermia were assisted by the Coast Guard Thursday north of Pass-A-Grille, Fla.
A person aboard the vessel contacted Sector St. Petersburg watchstanders at 11 p.m., Wednesday, via VHF-FM channel 16 radio reporting he and three other boaters aboard a 17-foot recreational vessel were hypothermic, running out of fuel and needed assistance.
“While gathering information, the operator was not able to spell his last name," said Richard Hutchinson, a watchstander at the sector. "We then launched a boatcrew from Station St. Petersburg to the scene.”
Unable to continue to their destination due to heavy seas and running low on fuel the distressed boaters moored their vessel to a private dock near Tierra Verde High and Dry Marina. Sector watchstanders requested Emergency Medical Services to rendezvous to the scene and evaluate all people aboard.
“It is extremely important to monitor the weather prior to getting underway,” said Hutchinson.”Minor distress situations turn severe in minutes when a boater forgets to check the weather prior to departing.”
All boaters were treated and released by EMS and the station’s boatcrew towed the vessel to Tierra Verde High and Dry Marina at 2:03 a.m.