Coast Guard Rescues 13 from Yacht Minutes Before it Sinks

A Coast Guard MH-60 Jayhawk. Coast Guard photo
A Coast Guard MH-60 Jayhawk. Coast Guard photo

Coast Guard officials said 13 people were rescued from a sinking yacht off the Florida coast Monday night, with the last person being taken off the vessel 25 minutes before it sank. Petty Officer Jon-Paul Rios says the Coast Guard responded after getting a call at approximately 6:30 p.m. that the 106-foot motor yacht named Serena III was taking on water. Rios says it's unclear why the boat was taking on water. Rescuers reached the yacht about 30 minutes later. "It was an extremely hectic situation," Rios said. "It was choppy seas, high winds. It was not the most favorable weather, but at the same time, we have some of the most proficient crews is the Coast Guard's Search and Rescue, so they were able to do it successfully." The vessel was carrying six passengers, six crew members and a captain, none of whom were suffering from medical emergencies Investigators said those who were on board the yacht were from Brazil and could only speak Portuguese. Officials told WSVN the vessel had left Ft. Lauderdale at 4:30 p.m. and was bound for Freeport, Bahamas. A Fort Lauderdale-based salvage company was dispatched to retrive the remains of the yacht, but was unable to do so. The Serena III remained underwater late Monday.--The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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