It was Saturday, April 7, 2018 and for the 6th Security Forces Squadron marine patrol unit, it was like any other day. They were routinely conducting patrols around the 7.2 mile coastline of MacDill Air Force Base, Florida.
Every weekend, boaters make their way onto the water to enjoy the mid-70 degree weather. But on this day, water conditions were rough, swells reached heights of six to seven feet tall and winds were around 30 knots.
At approximately 2:08 p.m., Airman 1st Class Christian Britton and Senior Airman Michael Roper, both 6th SFS marine patrolmen, received a “PAN-PAN” alert from U.S. Coast Guard Sector St. Petersburg.