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Coast Guard rescues four boaters offshore of Key West

The U.S. Coast Guard bailed out four people stuck on two separate disabled boats offshore of Key West on Sunday.

The Coast Guard received a distress signal early Sunday morning and launched an airplane crew and the Cutter Isaac Mayo to the scene, which was 70 miles southwest of Key West.

They found two disabled sport fishing vessels, both named “Ya Ya.”

The boats were towed in to Key West, one by the Cutter Isaac Mayo.

The emergency call came over an unregistered 406 MHz emergency position-indicating radio beacon, or EPIRB.

The beacon is used by mariners worldwide to report they are in distress. The EPIRBs send a distress signal that includes a unique 15-digit identification number to a satellite system, according to ACR Electronics, Inc., which designs and manufactures the beacons.

“This is a great example of a prudent mariner being prepared for the worst,” said Lt. Cmdr. Michael Viles, Sector Key West command center chief.

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“When they encountered an emergency situation, they used their EPIRB and appropriate survival equipment to call the Coast Guard for assistance,” Viles said.

Boaters may register their 406 MHz EPIRBs by clicking here.

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