Fishing boat captain rescued after falling overboard

PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) – Coast Guard officials report that a fishing boat captain is in good condition after falling from his boat early Sunday morning.

According to the US Coast Guard, crew members aboard the vessel “Fiona Leone” reported that the boat’s captain had fallen overboard while the boat was on autopilot.

The Coast Guard said it launched its response boat crew, a mobile crew from the Coast Guard Aviation Training Center HC-144 Ocean Sentry and crew from the Coast Guard Cutter Diamondback to help.

Officials report that the captain was in the water for more than four hours without a life jacket. He was rescued by a Good Samaritan aboard another boat.

The crew of the boat ‘New Beginnings brought the captain back to his ship.

“We would like to commend the crew of New Beginnings for their vigilance and willingness to help,” said Capt. Cassie Kitchen, mobile sector search and rescue mission coordinator. “Surviving in the water without a life jacket like the Captain did is difficult for anyone to accomplish. The Coast Guard continues to urge boaters to practice boating safely by wearing life jackets, wearing using kill switches and carrying the appropriate communications equipment, such as a VHF-FM radio.

Officials say the captain was last reported in good condition.

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