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.