ANNA MARIA ISLAND – A 31-year-old man was rescued by the U.S. Coast Guard early Monday after trying to sail from Clearwater to Marina Jack in Sarasota.
The man's sister contacted the Coast Guard at 11 p.m. Sunday, saying her brother had just purchased the 26-foot sailboat and told her he was experiencing inclement weather before she lost contact with him, according to a news release.
A Coast Guard helicopter, two response boats, a Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission response boat and the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Officefound the man a mile west of Passage Key, northwest of Anna Maria Island.
Rescue units were not able to reach the sailboat due to the rough conditions, so the man jumped into the water wearing a lifejacket and swam to a response boat.
The man was transported back to Coast Guard Station Cortez with no medical issues.
Officials said they were working on the sailboat's retrieval Monday afternoon.