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Hillsborough deputies, fellow boaters help rescue 11 people from capsized boat

One person was transported to a hospital.

TAMPA, Fla. — Fellow boaters and members of the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office helped rescue 11 people after a boat capsized just east of Beer Can Island.

The boat overturned and started sinking just before 5:30 p.m. Sunday. Somebody called 911, and the sheriff's office was dispatched.

"The HCSO Aviation Unit first flew over the scene and confirmed a boat was upside down in the water, with several people swimming around it," the agency wrote in an email. "A nearby boat with citizens was able to arrive immediately and begin lifting victims into their craft."

The sheriff's office says its marine unit showed up and found two men – one of whom was wearing a life vest – hanging onto the hull of the capsized boat. One of the individuals was dealing with chest pains and shortness of breath and was eventually taken by paramedics to an area hospital.

Everyone else was taken to the Apollo Beach Marina by boat.

"Thanks to the willingness of some local boaters to help out, a group of 11 people, consisting of men, women, and children, were saved after they were stranded in the water when their seacraft capsized," Sheriff Chad Chronister wrote in a statement.

"Almost all the victims were wearing life preservers," Chronister added. "We remind everyone to always have the right amount of life vests for each person on a boat, as well as keeping stock of all other safety and emergency equipment."

The Hillsborough County Fire Rescue Marine Unit helped the sheriff's office with the situation, as did the U.S. Coast Guard.

Sea Tow was called to recover the overturned boat.

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