The U.S. Coast Guard has rescued 12 people from a scientific research and survey ship that capsized about 140 miles south of Pensacola.
The Coast Guard says the crew of the Seaprobe reported Friday morning that the 170-foot ship was taking on water and the dozen crewmembers had abandoned the ship on life rafts.
"When we arrived on scene we saw the hull sticking out of the water, and about a mile away, 12 crewmembers were on three life rafts tied together; our rescue swimmer assisted five into the hoist basket," said Petty Officer 2nd Class Robert McDonald, ATC Mobile flight mechanic. "They were covered in diesel fuel and extremely cold, but every one of them was wearing a life jacket."
Coast Guard helicopters from Clearwater airlifted the group to Mobile for medical evaluation and three were then sent to an area hospital for further treatment.
The Coast Guard says investigators are working to determine what caused the ship to capsize.
Information from the Associated Press was used in this report.
FOX 13 / WTVT-TV
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