ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) — The U.S. Coast Guard rescued a commercial fisherman who was clinging to a cooler in the Gulf of Mexico after his boat capsized, the day after evacuating a boy and his father from the same vessel.
The agency received an emergency alert at 8:56 a.m. Thursday from the Jenny Lynn, broadcasting its location, according to a news release.
A MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew dispatched from Air Station Clearwater found Robert Heart, 48, clinging to a cooler in 3 to 4-foot (1-1.2 meter) seas. He was still near the 36-foot (10.9-meter) boat, which was almost entirely under the surface.
A rescue swimmer helped Heart into a cage that was hoisted into a helicopter, whose crew took him to a Tampa hospital for a medical evaluation. His condition was not immediately known.
Heart had declined help a day earlier, when the Coast Guard Cutter Diamondback responded to the Jenny Lynn to medically evacuate a 15-year-old boy who had fallen ill onboard. That crew took the boy and his father to the Sector St. Petersburg base.