Coast Guard rescues two from sinking sailboat off Key Largo

Coast Guard crews from the Florida Keys and Miami Beach rescued two men early Thursday morning whose sailboat was sinking off Key Largo.

The men’s 36-foot vessel, the No Worries, broke free of a mooring ball in Key Largo Dry Rocks, a federally protected coral reef about three miles east of the Upper Keys island, at 4 a.m. and pushed hard aground, according to a Facebook post by U.S. Coast Guard Station Islamorada.


Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary map of Key Largo Dry Rocks.

A 45-foot patrol boat from Station Islamorada and a MH-65 helicopter from Miami Beach responded. The helicopter crew hoisted one man from the sinking vessel. The other man jumped into the water and the Coast Guard boat crew picked him up, according to the Coast Guard.

CG Rescue 2.jpg

The sailing vessel, No Worries, is shown capsizing Feb. 21, 2019, near Key Largo. A Coast Guard Station Islamorada 45-foot Response Boat-Medium crew and a Coast Guard Air Station Miami MH-65 helicopter crew rescued the two men aboard the boat. Coast Guard Photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Michael Shortes

Coast Guard Photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Michael Shortes

Eric Kample, 40, and Robert Pflugh, 56, were not injured, the Coast Guard said.

Coast Guard Petty Officer 1st Class Richard Steidell credited the men in a statement for having their VHF-FM radio and using channel 16 to call for help. This allowed the agency to respond within 30 minutes.

“Having the right communications equipment often plays a big part in rescue missions,” Steidell said.