VIDEO: Salvation after sinking

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A Coast Guard aircrew rescued three anglers after their 27-foot fishing boat sank 23 miles west of Florida’s Steinhatchee River last week.

Watchstanders at Sector St. Petersburg received a call on VHF radio from a man who said his boat was flooding and soon would be underwater. He said all three people aboard were wearing life jackets.

The boat had overturned and nearly sunk when the Coast Guard arrived. The three men were feeling the effects of hypothermia in the 59-degree water.

“A guy was looking over the horizon and he said, ‘I see a helicopter.’ We all held hands and said, ‘Thank you, Lord, we’re out of here now,’ ” said Tim Ragan.

"Proper communications and life jackets are imperative when operating on the water," said Lt. Micheal Persun, a command duty officer from the sector. "It is only because of their VHF radio that the Coast Guard was made aware of this incident. Wearing life jackets and staying with the overturned vessel, like the Coast Guard recommends, was also key to the quick rescue of these boaters."