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The Coast Guard rescued 9 boaters who fled a sinking vessel off the Florida coast

"Bravo zulu to U.S. Coast Guard Station Pensacola!" The U.S. Coast Guard said in a tweet after a patrol crew was diverted to rescue nine boaters whose vessel started sinking near Pensacola Pass, Fla.
U.S. Coast Guard
"Bravo zulu to U.S. Coast Guard Station Pensacola!" The U.S. Coast Guard said in a tweet after a patrol crew was diverted to rescue nine boaters whose vessel started sinking near Pensacola Pass, Fla.

Updated July 10, 2022 at 4:17 PM ET

All are safe and sound after nine people abandoned a sinking boat off the Florida coast, thanks to a quick response from the U.S. Coast Guard.

The Coast Guard said it rescued all nine boaters from the water after the recreational vessel became submerged about two miles south of Pensacola Pass on Saturday.

At 10:47 a.m., the Coast Guard received a mayday call from the 50-foot Sport Fisher Slow Motion, according to the agency. A boat crew already patrolling the area arrived on the scene less than 10 minutes later, and eventually brought the boaters back to Big Lagoon State Park in Pensacola.

None of the nine boaters reported any medical concerns, said the Coast Guard.

The boat had already sank by the time the rescue crew arrived, a spokesperson with the Coast Guard told NPR.

Eight of the boaters were wearing life jackets at the time and one was not, said Petty Officer 3rd Class Riley Perkofski.

"It sounds like they hit something," Perkofski said.

He noted that there is a sunken vessel-turned manmade reef in the area, as well as other shallow parts coming out of the nearby jetty, but could not confirm the cause of the boat's submersion.

The agency is investigating the incident he said, adding that "investigations can take months and sometimes a year."

Copyright 2022 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Emma Bowman