The Latest News and Rescue Stories

A man was rescued from his leisure fishing boat in the Gulf of Mexico after it got into mechnical difficulties. In his own Ricardo Argudo describes how he needed to activate his Personal Locator Beacon after discovering that the VHF radio set was missing from his boat.

"On December 3,2013 I was returning from an offshore fishing trip being the last day of Grouper season in the west central gulf of mexico.I was in a Freedom Boat Club Sea Fox 23ft with a single Yamaha 150 hp.The fixed radio had been stolen and the club provided a hand held.I always bring my own hand held, GPS(not included on Freedom boats)my PLB and anchor and anchor line.

Most boat club boats only have 50ft of rope and 4ft of chain.I was due west of the mouth of Tampa bay,30 miles out heading 60 degrees to Johns Pass when the motor broke down.The problem was unsolvable and I was not able to raise anyone on either hand held.I subsequently learned that they have a range of 3 miles with 5 watts compared to the 15 mile range of a 25 watt fixed radio.At approximately 3:30pm I activated the PLB.The cap came off easily and the antenna unwrapped itself then I pressed the on button and the unit started flashing.This was after I had set the anchor in 90ft of water with 200ft of rope and 15ft of chain.In about 45 minutes a Coast Guard helicopter flew over us(just me and my girlfriend)and began circling and communicating by the hand held VHF.What a relief! I gave the chopper crew all required details for the tow,boat club coverage:Tow Boat U.S.,personal coverage Seatow.At approximately 5:30 the chopper advised me to turn off the PLD and that the Coast Guard Cutter "HAWK" was on its way.In 30 minutes we were being towed and at 20 miles out Tow Boat U.S. intercepted us and they brought us back to the boat club dock.We arrived about midnight.

I received a call from the coast guard in Miami the next day.They wanted to inform me that I need to up-date my profile with NOAA.