Two sailors found themselves in serious danger after a storm battered their boat in the Gulf of Mexico, shredding the sails and cracking the hull.
As Ondego took on water, the skipper used a digital selective calling device to alert the Coast Guard. Watchstanders at Sector Key West quickly made callouts, issued an Urgent Marine Information Broadcast and got in touch with the sailboat crew on VHF radio.
Air Station Miami launched a Dolphin helicopter crew to the scene of the emergency 30 nautical miles northwest of Marquesas Key, Florida. The video shows the last of the sailors being hoisted to safety.
There were 40-knot winds and 20-foot seas during the Jan. 17 rescue.
"These were the worst conditions my crew and I have ever experienced in the Gulf of Mexico," said Lt. Matthew Swanner, aircraft commander. "I am proud of my crew, who executed this rescue flawlessly despite the adverse weather conditions."
Air Station Miami flew the sailors to Key West International Airport, where emergency medical personnel were waiting. No serious injuries were reported.