Passengers evacuated after Florida sight-seeing boat runs aground

The following is the text of a press release issued by the U.S. Coast Guard:
(TARPON SPRINGS, Fla.) — The Coast Guard safely transferred 16 of 42 passengers from the 45-foot sight-seeing catamaran Yiannis Dolphin after the vessel ran aground at about 5:30 p.m., near the mouth of the Anclote River.
Coast Guard watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector St. Petersburg, Fla., received several relay calls originating from passengers aboard the Yiannis Dolphin at about 7 p.m. It was reported that the vessel had been aground for over one hour and action had not been taken to get the passengers safely back to shore.
The Coast Guard immediately launched a 25-foot rescue boat crew and a 24-foot rescue boat crew from Coast Guard Station Sand Key, along with two Coast Guard Auxiliary vessels to assist in the transfer.
At about 9:30 p.m., Coast Guard boat crews and Auxiliary crews began safely transferring several passengers aboard the Coast Guard units. Sixteen passengers had been transferred when the Yiannis Dolphin re-floated at about 10:15 p.m. The 16 passengers aboard the Coast Guard units and remaining 26 passengers aboard the catamaran were taken back to the Sponge Docks in Tarpon Springs.
No injuries were reported.
By Professional Mariner Staff