Watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector Jacksonville received word of a sinking 26-foot boat about one mile southeast of Cape Canaveral, Thursday morning around 9:45 a.m. The captain noticed the boat listing and sinking; once in the water he was able to make a mayday call using a cell phone in a waterproof case. The Coast Guard deployed a 25-foot rescue boat crew and arrived on the scene shortly after.
When the Coast Guard arrived the boat was completely submerged and the passengers were in the water. The Coast Guard crew rescued five adults and two children from the water. Rescued were 23-year-old Katie Hart of Florida, 64-year-old Richard Leister of Kentucky, 35-year-old Richard Leister Jr. of Kentucky, 54-year-old Gary Lees of Tennessee, 11-year-old Nick Lees of Tennessee, and 9-year-old Nolan Lees of Tennessee.
All seven boaters were wearing life jackets at the time of the Coast Guard’s arrival. None of the passengers required medical attention.