Family of 6 rescued after pontoon boat begins sinking off Seven Mile Bridge

Boat got caught in fast-moving storms that swept through Marathon, deputies say

By Amanda Batchelor - Senior Digital Editor
Monroe County Sheriff's Office

MARATHON, Fla. - A family of six from Jacksonville was rescued Monday morning about 3 miles south of the Seven Mile Bridge after its pontoon boat began sinking, Monroe County Sheriff's Office spokesman Adam Linhardt said in an email.

According to Linhardt, the boat became swamped by waves and got caught in the fast-moving storms that swept through Marathon.

Linhardt said the boaters called the Sheriff’s Office at 11:08 a.m. and Deputy Wilfredo Guerra found the sinking boat and all six people near the Sombrero Key Light. 

A woman on the 22-foot boat who made one of the 911 calls told the dispatcher that they could see land and the bridge, but were about to go underwater.

"Our boat is sinking. Please send someone," she said. 

The woman said everyone on board, four adults and two children, were wearing life vests. 

A good Samaritan boater and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission assisted in the response, Linhardt said. 

The family was taken to the Sunset Grille & Raw Bar, and the pontoon boat was recovered by Sea Tow. 

No injuries were reported. 

The FWC is investigating the incident.   

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