Survivor Club

Rescue Map

Drifting into the Night

Name Karson Keith
Product Name ACR GlobalFix ipro
Date of Rescue 08/24/2013
Saved By US Coast Guard
Beacon Purchased From Local
Lives Saved 4

Four of us were out of Cedar Key FL fishing at 10nm out on Saturday 8/24/2013. We were anchored off fishing and saw the electronics die and lost all power to start the engine. The engine would not start so we called for assistance from sea tow. We could not get hold of sea tow so contacted the coast guard at Yankee Town Fl and they contacted sea tow for us.

While waiting on sea tow we saw a storm brewing so we let out 250ft of anchor line in 30ft depth and tied to the lower eye on the bow. We got prepared and pulled out life jackets and a dock line just in case and I'm glad we did because the storm overtook us with waves becoming approximately 8-12ft. We got out 1 mayday without coordinates due to the boat capsizing so fast and grabbed the EPIRB in the process of the boat overturning.

The wind was blowing approximately 45-50knts sustained we all had our PFDs on at this point and tied together with the dock line. Drifting away from the boat I can't explain in words the fear and thoughts going through each one of our heads but we felt as secure as you could feel in these circumstances with the EPIRB telling us the signal was sent.

We drifted into the night. Approximately 10pm we were assisted by a rescue swimmer dropped from the coast guard helicopter. He stayed with us until the sea tow boat came to us and helped us up onto the boat. When we got onto the sea tow boat that's when we realized that we had drifted approximately 6 miles from where the boat overturned in approximately 2.5 hrs. Coast guard rescue swimmer said they probably would not have found us that night if at all if it wasn't for the EPIRB signal.

We returned to Cedar Key shaken up but everyone was ok without any injuries. Basically the price of the EPIRB is a small price to pay for your life that and the coast guard saved 4 of us. Words cannot explain our gratitude and appreciation toward the US Coast Guard, Sea Tow, and ACR Electronics for saving our lives. With many years experience on the ocean we never thought we would be in this situation but we were and I'm glad we spent the money for the EPIRB and were well prepared because if not we would probably not be writing this letter today.


From the USCG News (

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. - The Coast Guard along with commercial salvage rescued four people approximately 13 miles west of Cedar Key Saturday.

Watcherstanders at Coast Guard Sector St. Petersburg received an emergency position indicating radio beacon alert at 8:41 p.m., plotting an area with rough weather.

An MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew from Air Station Clearwater arrived on scene and located a swamped boat, with four people clinging to the hull.

A rescued swimmer was lowered to the boat to check the status of the people. Sea Tow arrived on scene, removed all four people from the water and transported them back to Cedar Key.

The Coast Guard has received a high amount of reports this weekend of mariners beset by weather, disabled or disorientated due to weather.

"The Coast Guard wants to remind boaters to always check the weather before leaving the dock," said Petty Officer 2nd Class Omar Arrieta, a search and rescue watchstander at the sector. "Weather can deteriorate very quickly and catch a boater off guard. Continue to always have life jackets and proper safety equipment aboard your vessel, like an EPIRB and a VHF-FM radio, so if you are caught in severe weather, the Coast Guard can assist you quickly."

Thank you to ACR employees for manufacturing a beacon to save our lives. We cannot thank you enough.