PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. (CBS12) — Local boaters came to the aid of fellow anglers whose vessel had capsized in the ocean waters off Palm Beach County on Saturday.
The rescue proved an emotional experience for the rescuing charter captain, since his infant daughter recently passed away.
“Our crew members saw a gentleman standing on top of the capsized boat, waving his hands,” said Taylor DeFusco, the mate who was part of the rescue.
DeFusco, a Port St. Lucie resident, said his fishing charter left out of Stuart and headed to the waters off Palm Beach County.
About three miles off MacArthur Beach State Park, DeFusco said his party encountered the vessel, which for some reason had taken on water and was upside down.
Three men, including two in the water, needed help.
DeFusco said a chum bag was attached to the overturned boat, a potentially dangerous situation if sharks were present.
Thankfully, DeFusco said calm conditions prevailed and his crew quickly got the three men on board the charter boat, safe and sound.
No one suffered any injuries.
DeFusco said the rescue touched the heart of his boat captain, Jonathan Kranker, who recently lost his newborn daughter.
“He just changed the boat’s name from the ‘Colossal Catch 2’ to the ‘Madison Marie,’ after his daughter,” he said. “We ran one of our first charters off the new name on the boat, and ended up helping three people, possibly with their lives today. So it was a pretty emotional day for him.”
DeFusco said the U.S. Coast Guard and a towing company arrived to take the rescued men to where they needed to be onshore.
The incident, according to DeFusco, should serve as a reminder to go out on the water with proper safety equipment and an emergency plan.