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Clinging to the hull

MAY 22 — Four Florida fishermen were rescued recently after spending nearly 30 hours in the water after their 18-foot boat capsized in the Gulf of Mexico.

The girlfriend of one of the men reported the group missing to the Coast Guard Wednesday, May 10, when they were 14 hours overdue, a news report says. The men were out for a day of fishing when their boat capsized, sending them into the water.

“The only information the agencies had was that four men had left Homosassa [Fla.] at 8 p.m. Tuesday and were expected back home by 10 that night,” says a news release issued by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission.

Officials with the Coast Guard and FWC launched a 14-hour search for the men and found them about 11 miles offshore, clinging to the overturned boat, the news report says. “We were just lucky to find them that fast, because the seas were pretty rough, a FWC spokesperson says in the news report.

Officials say the men survived, in large part, because they were all wearing PFDs, they stayed with the boat and dropped anchor so the boat would not drift, the news report says.

-- Jason Fell