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Several citizens assisted in rescue efforts, including  Captain Michael Wackelin of Towboat US.
Sarasota Monday, Jul. 23, 2012 6 years ago

Sarasota police make water rescues during thunderstorms

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High gusts created hazardous conditions in the Sarasota Bay Saturday, July 21.

Police officers were dispatched around 6:20 p.m. to a report of three capsized boats north of the Sailing Squadron in Sarasota Bay, with people in the water.

Officers were aided by Capt. Michael Wackelin of Towboat US, who hopped on his boat to assist once he heard the situation

Communications between the distressed boaters and the United States Coast Guard led officers to an area off Longboat Key in Sarasota Bay, where they found three overturned sailboats. The first boat had two people clinging to the hull. Officers pulled them on board and moved to the next vessel.

Officers removed one of the three crewmembers of the second boat from the water, while the other two stayed with Wackelin, who transported them and their boat back to Sailing Squadron, refusing payment for services.

The third capsized vessel received assistance from unidentified good Samaritans, and did not require addition rescue assistance from officers.

Officers returned and towed the first capsized sailboat back to the Sailing Squadron.

Contact Eddie Kirsch at [email protected].

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