A Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office marine unit maneuvers near a 22-foot capsized boat near John’s Pass, Florida, with two survivors aboard Aug. 25, 2018. An off-duty Coast Guard helicopter pilot and his family rescued the couple from the water after the 22-foot boat sank. (Courtesy photo)

Off-Duty Coast Guard Helicopter Pilot Rescues 2 People After Boat Sinks

An off-duty Coast Guard helicopter pilot and his family rescued two people from Florida waters Saturday near John’s Pass.

Rescued were a 51-year-old Clearwater man and a 39-year-old woman from Seminole.

Coast Guard Lt. j.g. Justin Pacheco, an MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter pilot from Air Station Clearwater, was out on his 21-foot boat with his family when he noticed something.

“We came around a corner, and I saw a blue stripe going up in the air,” said Pacheco. “It was the nose of the boat. I thought, that doesn’t look right.”

He said the 22-foot boat capsized within 10 seconds, leaving two people in the water. Immediately, Pacheco and his family dialed 911 and went to work.

Pacheco navigated his boat to the two people, and helped pull them out of the water. He explained, “That’s what any boater would do.”

A Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office marine unit and a Seminole Fire Rescue boat crew also responded.

Seminole Fire Rescue transported the couple to Medeira Beach Marina. There were no reported injuries.

Read more at U.S. Coast Guard

The Government Technology & Services Coalition's Homeland Security Today (HSToday) is the premier news and information resource for the homeland security community, dedicated to elevating the discussions and insights that can support a safe and secure nation. A non-profit magazine and media platform, HSToday provides readers with the whole story, placing facts and comments in context to inform debate and drive realistic solutions to some of the nation’s most vexing security challenges.

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