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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

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