Two people were rescued by the Coast Guard over the weekend after their disabled boat ended up caught in heavy seas off Key West in Florida as Tropical Storm Sally blasted through the region, according to officials.
The U.S. Coast Guard said in a news release the two people aboard the sailing vessel Preston Point called Coast Guard Sector Key West around 6:30 p.m. on Saturday to report their engine was disabled and they were in danger of capsizing.
“Florida weather during hurricane season is unpredictable,” Petty Officer 3rd Class Steven Evans, said in a statement. “It is important that mariners check the weather before going out on the water, whether it’s a day trip or longer.”
The Coast Guard said an MH-65 Dolphin helicopter rescue crew was dispatched to the area, while the Cutter Raymond Evans was also diverted to the area.
Once the helicopter arrived on the scene about 14 miles west Key West, a rescue swimmer was lowered into 6- to 10-foot seas and 35 mph winds.
“The rescue swimmer attempted to swim to the sailing vessel, but due to the seas and the drift of the vessel, the rescue swimmer was unable to reach the vessel,” the Coast Guard said.
After the helicopter was low on fuel, another airplane was sent to the area from Miami to provide assistance to the rescue swimmer, but due to the conditions from Sally, he could still not reach the vessel.
The cutter then arrived and a small boat crew located the rescue swimmer and brought him aboard “in good health.”
The small boat crew then rescued the two people from the sailboat, who were reported to also be in good health.
Officials released a video of the first-hand accounts from the rescuers.
The boat’s owners are working with a commercial towing service to recover their sailboat, according to the Coast Guard.
“We remind mariners to check the weather before going out, tell someone where you are going and when you’ll be back, wear a life jacket, ensure your safety gear is up to date, and have a registered emergency position indicator radio beacon on board,” the Coast Guard said.
Sally has since strengthened to a hurricane after impacting the Keys and is threatening to bring devastating flooding to the Gulf Coast.
“Historic flooding is possible from Sally with extreme life-threatening flash flooding likely through Wednesday along portions of the northern Gulf Coast,” the National Hurricane Center (NHC) said Tuesday morning.
Sally is forecast to make landfall sometime between Tuesday night and Wednesday morning, but there may not be a landfall for many hours as the system hovers offshore.
Severe, widespread flash flooding can also be expected, with a widespread area of 10-20 inches of rain from the Central Gulf Coast to the Florida Panhandle.
Some isolated spots could even receive upwards of 30 inches of rain.
Fox News’ Janice Dean contributed to this report.