Historic City News witnessed an excellent example of inter-agency cooperation last night when two boaters and their canine passenger were rescued from the Atlantic Ocean, about 1/4 mile off the coast of Vilano Beach in St Augustine.
According to Lt. Jeremy Robshaw with the St Johns County Marine Rescue unit, two personal watercraft were launched into the St Augustine Inlet last night at approximately 9:30 p.m. in response to a report that a vessel had lost power and was in jeopardy of capsizing.
As the operators and rescue swimmers were being deployed, the St Augustine Police Department joined the search with the City’s rescue boat stationed at the municipal marina.
Marine Rescue called in air assistance to locate the vessel since no communications could be established with the victims. St Johns County Air One took flight from the North Florida Regional Airport at St Augustine and quickly spotted the sinking vessel.
Once located, marine units raced to the scene and were able to transport the occupants and their dog to shore.
Emergency medical personnel were standing by and evaluated the passengers; who declined further medical treatment.
St Johns County Fire Rescue, the St Johns County Sheriff’s Office, and the City of St Augustine Police Department performed with speed, precision and great skill — avoiding any injuries to those involved.
Investigators with the Florida Wildlife Commission and US Coast Guard are looking into the incident further at this time in order to determine the cause of last night’s events.