Anchors Away! Boat Rescue Under Way

At high noon, volunteers waded into Boca Ciega Bay to haul Capt. Jay's live-in sailboat to shore.

Speaking from his hospital bed at the Bay Pines VA, Capt. Jay thanked the volunteers who turned out Wednesday to haul his sailboat from the sand in Gulfport.

"I am so happy so many people are getting involved," Captain Jay said.

John Burki, 66, known as Captain Jay, is recovering today after being punched and knocked out in Gulfport. He would prefer to be on the beach with volunteers trying to rescue his boat.



Earlier: 10:30 a.m.

"A sailor's in trouble," Laura Herrington said.

Laura and Marcus Herrington answered the call for help today at the Gulfport Beach. The couple drove in from Orlando to help a group of concerned volunteers save Captain Jay's boat.

The boat ran aground when Tropical Storm Debby tore through Gulfport last month.

While Gulfport Beach is filled with onlookers and volunteers hoping to help, John Burki, known as Captain Jay, is absent. Jay is recovering at the VA Hospital, according to friend Seth Meinders. Jay was punched in the face on Sunday night. He lost a tooth and suffered a broken jaw. Jay's dog, named Dream, and cat are staying with Meinders for now.

Meinders has joined the dedicated group of volunteers today. At this hour, 10:45 a.m., people are in the water trying to tip over the boat.

Gulfport Patch will update you throughout the day.

Cherlene Willis August 02, 2012 at 03:59 AM
Thanks for uploading the photos you took today Phil! - Cherlene
annie August 02, 2012 at 08:39 PM
great job gulfport and all the neighbors from afar that helped
sarah gardner August 02, 2012 at 10:25 PM
Hi, So happy to know this community jumped in, no pun intended! HEY! When I read the article in tpt, SETH MEINDERS is Jay's friend, also mine since neighborhood friends back to 1968. I lost track of Seth. Can anyone help me rely a message to SETH??? My name is Sarah Gardner, of sunset dr. clw. just a few blocks away now....my email address is sarahvan@verizon.net. PLEASE! respond if you can get a message to him please! :&)
Bob Strong August 26, 2013 at 10:30 PM
Great pics of the boat. I have been looking for BC anchors so I can get my boat out on the water as well. Congrats on the achievement! http://swc.bc.ca/services/excavating-shoring


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