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Catamaran rescues 5 people after fishing boat sinks

Coast Guard part of rescue off coast of Boynton Beach

BOYNTON BEACH, Fla. – The crew of a catamaran rescued five people whose fishing boat sank off the coast of Boynton Beach Saturday morning, the U.S. Coast Guard said.

Capt. Charles Mount, Elena Markel and her 13-year-old daughter, Stefania, were traveling to Boca Raton aboard the Palm Breeze, a 55-foot charter boat, when they heard a distress call on the radio just after 11 a.m. 

"Over the radio, we heard 'mayday, mayday. Going in down in two minutes,'" Mount said. "By the time we got there, the boat was completely sunk. But Elena and the crew did a fantastic job getting everyone to safety."

The men were pulled from water about four miles east of the shore. The Coast Guard said their 31-foot pleasure craft started to take on water just before 9:30 a.m. They eventually transferred to a U.S. Coast Guard vessel and sailed back to the cutters' station at Lake Worth.

"We sucked up so much water. It sank," one of the men tells Markel in a video taken after the rescue. "We're glad that you guys came along. Very happy that you guys came along."

In the video, one the rescued men drys off with a towel. Markel then sweeps her camera across the water but by then the boat was gone.

The Coast Guard sent a MH-65 Dolphin helicopter and a 45-foot response boat to the scene.

Mount said this isn't his first rescue, explaining he picks up boaters in need about every two years.

"We have been on the water for 25 years," Mount said of his charter business. "So we come across this once and while."