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GPS helps with family’s rescue

Five boaters were rescued early Sunday from a 26-foot pleasure boat taking on water near the Southwest Pass jetties in southern Louisiana.

Coast Guard Sector New Orleans watchstanders received a SPOT GPS device report from the owner of the vessel at 1:24 a.m. The watchstanders directed the launch of a Coast Guard Station Venice 25-foot response boat-small and crew and a Coast Guard Air Station New Orleans MH-65 Dolphin helicopter crew.

The helicopter crew arrived on scene at 3:19 a.m., and remained on scene until the response boat-small crew arrived at 3:52 a.m. The crew transferred the boaters to the Coast Guard boat and took them to Cypress Cove Marina in Venice.

“The Coast Guard highly recommends mariners have either an emergency position indicating radio beacon or VHF-FM marine-band radio before getting underway to use in case of an emergency,” said Petty Officer 2nd Class Chad Carrilles, a boatswain’s mate with Station Venice. “It is important that mariners carry this equipment on board their vessels to be able to call for help in an emergency. We also highly recommend mariners file a float plan before getting underway with friends, family and a harbormaster.”

The vessel is anchored next to the Southwest Pass jetties and is not a hazard to navigation.

There were no injuries reported.