ELLIOT KEY (CBSMiami/AP) – Two flare shots in the night led the Coast Guard to two men whose boat had sunk off Elliot Key.

A helicopter crew from Coast Guard Station Miami saw the flares Thursday night.

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When they arrived on scene, about 10 minutes later, they found one person in the water and the other clinging to the mast of a sunken sailboat.

A Coast Guard rescue swimmer was lowered into the water and rescued both men.

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“Despite the Coast Guard arriving within 10 minutes after sinking, one man had already drifted approximately 200-yards from the sailboat. Both men were prepared for a potential emergency and had flares, a VHF-radio, flashlights, and were wearing life jackets which made rescuing much easier in the pitch black conditions,” said Lt. Chris Branning, co-pilot involved in the rescue. “Their emergency safety equipment was their saving grace.”

The men were taken to the Coast Guard station where they received medical attention.

No further details were immediately available.

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