A solo sailor was caught Monday in deteriorating weather off Florida’s Passage Key, where he was driven aground.
The 31-year-old man was trapped in two feet of water, which kept Coast Guard rescuers from reaching him. Wearing a life jacket, the sailor got into the water and swam to them.
The sailor's sister got in touch with the Coast Guard Sunday night and said her brother had bought the 26-foot boat and was planning to sail from Clearwater to Sarasota. She had cellphone contact with her brother at one point, but lost communication with him.
Small-craft advisories were up in the Tampa Bay area — Passage Key is at the entrance to the bay — and rescuers worked quickly to find him, Clearwater Patch reported.
Once they found the man and he was safe, they transferred him to a Coast Guard vessel that took him to Station Cortez. He was not injured.
"The cooperation between the Coast Guard and local agencies to accomplish this rescue was incredible," watchstander and Petty Officer 2nd Class Justin Bosworth told NBC 2 News. "We were able to work together to retrieve the man before the situation deteriorated.