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Rental sailboat sinks off Florida

FEB. 28 Five people were rescued Sunday after their rented sailboat capsized and sank in bad weather about a mile off St. Petersburg, Fla.

Todd Knieriemen, who is 23, Daniel Smith, 21, Kenneth Kness, 20, Adam Webster, 19, and Jonathan O’Brien, 18, were thrown into 63-degree water when the 24-foot sailboat they were in capsized at about 3:30 p.m. off Shell Island, news reports say. The men had rented the boat from the Pass-a-Grille Yacht Club.

Knieriemen, Smith and Kness swam to shore where another boater reported the accident to the Coast Guard, news reports say. Webster also swam to shore and was found by a Pinellas County Fire Rescue team. O’Brien, who remained in the water, was located by the crew of a Coast Guard rescue helicopter. He was eventually picked up by a Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office Marine unit and later taken to an area hospital for treatment for hypothermia.

The National Weather Service issued a small-craft advisory for the St. Petersburg area Sunday morning, which called for 20-knot winds and6- to 8-foot seas.

— Jason Fell