Coast Guard rescues Florida fisherman before boat sinks

Man rescued moments before 12-foot dinghy capsizes, sinks near Fort De Soto Park

A fisherman was rescued by the U.S. Coast Guard moments before his boat capsized and sank. (U.S. Coast Guard)

CLEARWATER, Fla. – The U.S. Coast Guard rescued a fisherman from a 12-foot dinghy Thursday, moments before it sank off Florida's Gulf coast.

A fisherman sent two mayday calls Thursday night saying that his boat was taking on water, less than a mile west of Fort De Soto Park.

The Coast Guard dispatched a helicopter crew from Clearwater to hoist the man to safety before his boat capsized and sank.

Lt. Matthew Mayer said it could have been a tragic situation.

"Thankfully, the fisherman had a working VHF radio so he could alert us of the distress immediately, and we were able to rescue him in time," Mayer said.

The man was not injured.

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