Boaters stranded at sea for 2 days rescued


ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. – The Coast Guard rescued two boaters after they got stranded for two days off the coast of St. Augustine.

The Coast Guard told Channel 4 that two people were on the disabled 20-foot boat 40 miles off St. Augustine.

No injuries have been reported. The Coast Guard says the boaters waved down a passing pleasure craft to request help. The good Samaritan alerted the Coast Guard.

The stranded boaters told the Coast Guard that the vessel's fuel line ruptured, disabling the boat. The boat also lost power, rendering their radio useless. The boaters say they used a tarp to cover themselves from the elements.

Channel 4 spoke with one of the stranded boaters.

"We got out about 30 miles or so, then that's when we started having problems...when we checked, it was gone," Joey Nelson said.

"We drifted for a while, dropped anchor, then still drifting. We lost power at 35 miles out. It was 48 miles when they found us."

The Coast Guard encourages all boaters, especially those who plan to operate offshore,  to invest in emergency position indicating radio beacons or personal locator beacons. When activated EPIRBs and PLBs send out electronic distress signals and GPS coordinates, notifying first responders of a distress situation and providing a precise location. Properly registered beacons also give rescuers valuable information about the vessel and owner.