4 fishermen rescued off Key Biscayne after boat capsizes - WSVN-TV - 7NEWS Miami Ft. Lauderdale News, Weather, Deco

4 fishermen rescued off Key Biscayne after boat capsizes

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One of the 4 fishermen rescued One of the 4 fishermen rescued
Courtesy U.S. Coast Guard Courtesy U.S. Coast Guard

KEY BISCAYNE, Fla. (WSVN) -- Four fishermen thrown overboard after their boat capsized have been rescued after being stranded for more than 12 hours in the cold and rough waters off Key Biscayne.

Officials said the men were found safe Saturday morning, hours after they set out on a 22-foot Seacraft to spend a few hours fishing. "They left Crandon Marina around 6 [Friday] night, and about 9 o'clock they were about two or three miles out getting ready to fish," said Miami Fire Rescue Lt. Ignatius Carroll.

What the fishermen encountered, Carroll said, were very choppy waters. "Because of the rough seas, the boat started taking on water and they had some malfunction with their equipment," he said.

What was supposed to have been a short fishing expedition turned into a fight for survival. "They were able to keep together for a while, staying together until the rough seas ended up separating all four of them," said Carroll.

One of the fishermen swam to shore and called for help. "We definitely credit the one swimmer who was determined to get to shore, and had he not called 911, there is no telling how long they would have been out there," said Carroll.

A City of Miami Fire Boat was dispatched, along with assets from the U.S. Coast Guard, Saturday around 6:30 a.m. Of the three remaining fishermen, two of them were rescued by a Good Samaritan and the third man was rescued by a City of Miami Fire boat.

These three fishermen were taken to the hospital, where they were treated for hypothermia and later released. The fisherman who swam to shore was treated on scene for hypothermia.

Lt. Cmdr. Gabe Somma from the U.S. Coast Guard said in a press release, "These four men are returning home to their loved ones today because they were smart, prepared and wore their life jackets."

Carroll agreed with Somma's comments. "The lesson learned here is that having your safety devices on your boat definitely pays off," he said. "Putting on your life preservers obviously saved these individuals' lives and they're able to tell their story today," he said.

"Out of the four, the four of us survived," said fisherman Eduardo Ortega through a translator.

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