Towing service vessel capsizes after line parts; captain rescued

The following is the text of a press release issued by the U.S. Coast Guard:
(JACKSONVILLE, Fla.) — A missing operator of a Tow Boat U.S. vessel was rescued Monday approximately one-mile east of St. Augustine, Fla., near Anastasia State Park following a joint search and rescue by the Coast Guard, St. John’s Fire and Rescue, St. John’s Sherriff’s Office and Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission. Rescued is Norm Mann, of Palm Coast, Fla.
A Coast Guard Station Mayport, Fla., 47-foot rescue boat crew, Air Station Savannah, Ga., HH-65 Dolphin rescue helicopter crew, St. John’s Fire and Rescue and Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission rescue crews began searching at approximately 6:30 a.m. after receiving notification that a 24-foot Tow Boat U.S. vessel had capsized in St. Augustine Inlet and sank.
The vessel at the time was towing a 48-foot sail boat when it is believed the tow line snapped.
At approximately 8:30 a.m. a St. John’s Sherriff’s Office helicopter crew located the hull of the towing vessel one-mile east of Anastasia State Park. A St. John’s Fire and Rescue crew recovered Mann shortly thereafter near the capsized vessel. Mann was transported to Flagler Hospital in St. Augustine for medical evaluation.

“We are obviously thrilled with the outcome today. The superb interagency cooperation of several north Florida agencies directly resulted in a life saved,” said Cmdr. Patrick Schreiber, chief of response for Coast Guard Sector Jacksonville.

By Professional Mariner Staff