Coast Guard rescues boater in distress in the Florida Keys

The Coast Guard rescued a boater in distress Tuesday morning in the Florida Keys.

The boater was on a sailboat in heavy weather off Islamorada when he radioed for help.

The Coast Guard dispatched both a ship and helicopter.

Because of 30-to-35 mph winds and 10-to-12 foot seas the Coast Guard said it could not safely transfer the boater to its ship.

A rescue swimmer was lowered into the water from the helicopter and tried to reach the boater but his vessel drifted away.

So the Coast Guard came up with a plan for the boater to jump into the water wearing a life jacket.

The rescue swimmer was then lowered next to him and the pair was successfully pulled to safety.

"One of the reasons we were able to rescue the man in distress was due to the fact he had a VHF-FM radio on board to contact the Coast Guard, and he was wearing a life jacket," said Coast Guard Capt. Todd Lutes, in a written release.

The Coast Guard said the man was brought to Air Station Miami and treated for minor injuries.

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