11 rescued as boat capsizes off ‘Beer Can Island’ in Florida
Dramatic footage shows the moment Florida law enforcement and Good Samaritans rescued 11 people from a capsized boat near Tampa Bay’s Beer Can Island on Sunday evening.
Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office said they received distress calls at 5.24pm to report several people were in the water just east of Beer Can Island.
The sheriff’s Marine Unit dispatched a helicopter and boat to the scene, where men, women and children were treading water beside an overturned vessel.
A passing boat “arrived immediately” and began lifting survivors onboard, who were almost all wearing life preservers, Sheriff Chad Chronister said.
Two stranded boaties, who were clinging to the hull of the capsized vessel, were pulled on to a sheriff’s rescue boat a short time later.
A man can be heard yelling “bring me up, bring me up”, in body cam footage released by the sheriff’s office.
One of the men complained of chest pains and shortness of breath and was transferred to hospital by the Hillsborough County Fire Rescue Marine Unit.
The remainder of the survivors were taken to the Apollo Beach Marina aboard the sheriff’s boat.
Sheriff Chronister praised the actions and willingness of the local boaters to help out.
“We remind everyone to always have the right amount of life vests for each person on a boat, as well as keeping stock of all other safety and emergency equipment,” he said.
Beer Can Island is a popular beach and recreational boating spot at the northern tip of Longboat Key in Tampa Bay, South Florida.