A family-of-four have been rescued by the U.S. Coast Guard after they were discovered clinging to their overturned boat in the Gulf of Mexico.
The family – consisting of two parents and two children aged eight and 11 – called for help Wednesday morning after their 20-foot-long vessel began taking on water off the coast of Venice, Louisiana.
A helicopter subsequently spotted the family 17 miles out to sea. The aircraft was able to lower a rescue swimmer to help the family until a Coast Guard boat could arrive.
All four family members were wearing life jackets, which crews say helped to keep them alive.
‘The fact that they were able to call in on channel 16 using their radio and reported the situation and how many people were aboard greatly assisted the crews in the search,’ a Coast Guard official stated following the successful rescue.
‘The crews knew what they were looking for and the general area the call came from which resulted in the family’s safe return.’
The official said that all of those rescued were ‘in good shape’.
Phoenix said records didn’t indicate where the family was from. Since none of them had any medical problems, they simply left once the helicopter brought them back to Venice, she said.
Its the third rescue attempt the Coast Guard has performed in the Gulf of Mexico in the past two weeks.
Last week, crews saved fisherman Robert Heart, 48, who was clinging to a cooler in the Gulf of Mexico after his boat capsized.
Rescue crews discovered Heart linging to a cooler in high seas. He was still near his 36-foot boat, which was almost entirely under the surface.
A rescue swimmer helped Heart into a cage that was hoisted into a helicopter. He was then flown to hospital.
Heart had declined help a day earlier, when the Coast Guard responded to the same vessel to medically evacuate a 15-year-old boy who had fallen ill onboard the previous day.