80-foot yacht hits object, sinks off Florida coast; 2 rescued, US Coast Guard says

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Source: St Johns County Fire Rescue

A relaxing day on the water off the coast of Florida ended in a rescue for two people after their yacht reportedly struck something and started to sink, according to the U.S. Coast Guard.

The Coast Guard received an emergency alert around 11:30 a.m. Saturday from the operators of Atlantis, an 80-foot yacht, reporting that it had struck something and was taking on water, the Coast Guard said in a news release. The yacht was located about three miles off the coast of St. Augustine Beach.

Officials with the St. Johns Sheriff's Office and St. Augustine Police Department were the first agencies to reach the vessel and help rescue the two people.

Photos shared by the U.S. Coast Guard showed the stern side of the boat – the rear – beneath the water, while the front side remained above the water. 

"We extend our heartfelt gratitude to our partner agencies for their invaluable assistance during this case," said Senior Chief Petty Officer Ricardo Santacana, command duty officer, Sector Jacksonville, in a written statement.

 "With the weather improving and mariners heading out onto the water, it's imperative for everyone to verify the presence of all necessary safety equipment aboard their vessel. This ensures that responders, as demonstrated in this case, can swiftly locate you and render assistance when an emergency arises." 

The Coast Guard said the yacht's owner would coordinate how to recover the boat from the water. The cause of the sinking remains under investigation.