FERNANDINA BEACH, Fla. -- A U.S. Coast Guard helicopter lands at Fernandina Beach Airport after rescuing two adults and one teenager from a fishing vessel that became disabled; the four other children were rescued by a Florida Wildlife Commission boat.
Coast Guard Petty Officer Lauren Jorgensen says it took hours to rescue the boaters because of weather conditions and because the vessel's riggings were making it difficult for the helicopter to hoist the passengers.
The boaters called for help about 2:45 p.m. Saturday, informing the Coast Guard that their vessel was disabled and their anchor was not gaining traction.
It took nearly nine hours for the boaters to be rescued.
"The weather calmed down, my understanding is when the weather calmed down that helped them a little bit. When the helicopter did arrive on scene, they lowered a Coast Guard rescue swimmer down along with the hoist basket and the rescue swimmer helped the three people who remained on the vessel get into the basket and get hoisted up into the helicopter," said Jorgensen.
No one was injured. Jorgensen says the passengers will be reunited at the Coast Guard station in Atlantic Beach. She says one adult was a father with his five children and the other adult was his brother-in-law.