Coast Guard Rescues 2 Missing Boaters 37 Miles Off Florida

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FORT MYERS BEACH, Fla. – The Coast Guard rescued two missing boaters Monday after their 23-foot boat capsized 37 miles west of St. James City.

Rescued were Cape Coral residents Renier Denis, 37 and Osmiel Vasquez, 35.

At 10:50 p.m. Sunday, watchstanders from Station Fort Myers Beach received a call from Denis’ wife stating Denis and Vasquez left St. James City at 7 a.m. aboard their 23-foot boat. The men were due back before dark, but had not returned.

Sector St. Petersburg’s command center crew devised and coordinated a search-and-rescue plan, and an HC-144 Ocean Sentry airplane crew from Air Station Miami was launched to commence the search.

At 4:40 a.m. Monday the air crew spotted a flare within the search area and located the two men on top of the hull of their capsized boat. A 45-foot Response Boat-Medium from Station Fort Myers Beach received the men’s position from the air crew, arrived on scene and rescued the two men from the capsized boat.

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“This rescue perfectly showcases the excellent collaborative effort from multiple Coast Guard units including our search and rescue planners, air crewmembers and boat crewmembers,” said Senior Chief Petty Officer Angel Ramos, a command duty officer at Sector St. Petersburg. “Without any one component, we would not be able to execute our search and rescue mission.”