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Key West Express saves family from burning vessel

November 21, 2017
Jessica Salmond - News Editor ( , Fort Myers Beach Bulletin, Fort Myers Beach Observer

It was a normal morning on the Key West Express Monday as it prepared to transport visitors from Fort Myers Beach to Key West.

But that changed when the captain heard a distress call from the radio. A man was trying to reach the U.S. Coast Guard for help - a fire had started on his vessel.

The distress call came through twice, and Linda Miller, spokeswoman for Key West Express, said the coast guard had not yet responded. The mariner reached out to the Key West Express, saying he could see the ship from his burning boat.

The captain changed course; the family donned life vests and jumped ship to swim to the Express.

"Our crews train twice a month for safety issues," Miller said. "You never think you're going to have to do that, but then you're well trained in case it happens."

Miller said the rescues were transported back to Key West, where they had originated from and where they were headed.

"They're making it back safely for Thanksgiving," she said.

The rescue was captured on video by an Express passenger and posted to Facebook. Key West Express has shared that video, to watch it visit their Facebook page.



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