Coast Guard stops runaway boat

Coast Guard officer leaps onto out-of-control boat as it circles off shore near Florida's Fort Myers Beach.

(WBBH) It’s a one-of-a-kind call for the US Coast Guard: a boat with a full tank of gas, running at full throttle, and no one’s behind the wheel.

“It sounds pretty crazy,” said Jesse Ameigh, a Petty Officer with the US Coast Guard.

“We do train here to operate at high speeds,” Ameigh said, but added he hadn’t trained for anything like this.

Coast Guard crews got the call around 4 p.m. Sunday. The caller said an unmanned boat was speeding around the Gulf of Mexico not far from Fort Myers Beach.

“The helm was stuck to the right, so it was just doing right-hand circles, but it could change course at any moment,” Ameigh said.

When crews first arrived, they tried to throw a net around the propeller to slow it down. That plan didn’t work so they got close enough for an officer to jump on board the out-of-control vessel and shut it down successfully.

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