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Coast Guard helps boaters suffering hypothermia

2:42 PM, Jan 16, 2014   |    comments
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ST. PETERSBURG, Florida - Four boaters suffering from hypothermia were assisted by the Coast Guard Thursday north of Pass-A-Grille.

A person aboard the 17-foot recreational boat radioed in for help saying he and three other boaters 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, Coast Guard officials say the distressed boaters moored their vessel to a private dock near Tierra Verde High and Dry Marina.

Sector watchstanders then 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.

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