4 boaters rescued after vessel capsizes

Boat sank off Key Biscayne

MIAMI – Four boaters are recovering from hypothermia after being rescued Saturday after their boat sunk off Key Biscayne Friday night.

The foursome left Crandon Park Marina Friday night around 6 p.m. to go fishing. Three hours into the journey, their boat began to take on water.

"They had some malfunction that would take water out and the boat quickly sunk," said Ignatius Carroll, with Miami Fire Rescue.

The boaters put their life vests on and began drifting out into the rough, chilly water for hours. At 6:30 Saturday morning, one boater in his 40s reached shore near the Mar Azul Condominiumss on Key Biscayne and asked for help, prompting a multi-agency search for the three boaters who were still missing.

A couple of hours later, a passing boater found one of the missing boaters, a man in his 30s, and called for help. Fire rescuers brought him to a harbor and immediately treated him for hypothermia.

Less than an hour later Miami Fire Rescue picked up Yasel Lopez, the third boater, also in his 30s, and brought him to land.

It was around 9:30 a.m. when the last boater, Eduardo Ortega, of Miami, was brought in as well.

Ortega said a fishing boat picked him as he waved his arms in the air. He was also happy to learn his three friends all made it out alive.

"That's good news," he said.

Rescuers said their determination, their life vests and good Samaritans helped save the boaters' lives.

All four men were taken to Mercy Hospital in Miami for hypothermia treatment.

The Coast Guard and Miami Fire Rescue assisted in the search and rescue effort, which was conducted by air and sea.

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