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Date of Issue: October 07, 2009

Crabbers rescued from swamped boat

A crabber from Holmes Beach and his mate were headed out in the nearshore Gulf of Mexico waters the morning of Oct. 5 to place traps in advance of the stone crab season opening Oct. 15 when their boat sank.

Capt. Mike Greig said he and Adam Ellis were carrying a full load of traps aboard his 24-foot Carolina Skiff and the waters were a “little rough” when his pump quit working.

“We started taking on water and the boat sank within 10-15 seconds,” he said. “It rolled over and we were under water.”

Greig credited the quick action of Trek Hackney, a fellow crabber who “came right to my aid.”

The U.S. Coast Guard out of Cortez responded within about 15-20 minutes, as did the Coquina Beach lifeguards and the Longboat Key police patrol boat, although “we were never in danger,” he said.

He said John Banyas of Cortez Bait and Seafood Co. and Taylor Boatworks brought out a large purse seine boat within a half hour, righted Greig’s boat and towed it to Cannons Marina.

His traps, worth $2,000, were still in the Gulf at noon Monday, about 200 yards from shore in about 12-14 feet of water, but Greig said he would be heading back out to retrieve them that afternoon.