Coast Guard rescues four people from sinking boat in Port Canaveral

- A day on the water nearly turned into a disaster for a group of boaters after their boat sank off Port Canaveral, but the Coast Guard says the boaters were prepared and it saved their lives.

The Coast Guard sent out photos of the dramatic recovery.

They show coast guardsmen pulling a man, his two sons and a friend from the Atlantic Ocean.

Petty Officer Nigel Ellis was one of the rescuers.

He says when they showed up, they couldn't find anyone on the sinking boat.

“Luckily there was a Coast Guard aircraft in the area and spotted two orange life jackets about a mile away from the boat itself,” Ellis said, “so we headed to that location, were able to spot the two orange life jackets - pulled up - it was actually two adults and two children.”

The boaters were floating about 20 miles from shore.

They'd sent out a distress beacon when the boat started sinking.

Ellis says the group was thrilled to see the Coast Guard.

“They were happy to see us, you could see the relief in the dad's eyes and the friend. He was just thinking about his sons. And his sons were just glassy-eyed, they didn't know what was going on, they were freaking out,” he said.

Ellis says it's a good thing the boaters were ready for a predicament like this.

He says it's so important for boaters to have distress beacons, life jackets, flares and more.

“If they didn't have their life jackets on... if they didn't have a personal locator beacon they were able to hit, things could've turned out very differently today," Ellis said.

The Coast Guard says they still don't know exactly why the boat started taking on water, but by the time the boaters realized it, it was already too late for them to head back.

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