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Couple and their dog rescued in Gulf of Mexico after damaged sailboat floods


A couple and their dog had to be rescued as water began to fill their sailboat while they were 90 miles off Florida’s Gulf Coast, according to a news release from the US Coast Guard.

Coast Guard Sector St. Petersburg received a digital selective calling alert at about 11 a.m. Saturday that water was getting into the mariners’ boat through a broken porthole and damaging some of its electronic equipment. The couple’s alert gave the Coast Guard their last known position, helping an aircrew locate them about 90 miles off Hernando Beach, Florida, the news release said.

Video shows a woman and her dog, both wearing life vests, being airlifted from the water into a Coast Guard Air Station Clearwater MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter. A rescuer can be seen helping both the woman and dog from a metal basket and securing the woman into a seat on the helicopter as she clutches the small animal.

The couple and their pet were in good health when the crew brought them back to Air Station Clearwater, the release said.

The boat’s porthole was damaged because of bad weather, Coast Guard spokesperson Santiago Gomez said Wednesday.

Efforts to salvage the sailboat have been arranged, but the boat’s whereabouts weren’t known Wednesday, Gomez said.

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