PALM BAY, Florida -- Witnesses and emergency crews from several agencies rescued two adults and an approximately 6 to 7-year-old girl after their boat overturned in the Indian River Lagoon just off of Castaways Point Park in Palm Bay, Florida.
Just after noon on Sunday, police and firefighters responded to Castaways Point Park at the end of Bay Boulevard after receiving multiple 911 calls that reported an overturned vessel about 300 yards offshore.
When firefighters arrived, a private citizen was already assisting the woman and girl to shore. According to City of Palm Bay officials, the child was wearing a life preserver and the adults had flotation devices. Palm Bay Fire-Rescue Lieutenant Brian Gent sent one of his crew into the water to rescue the man who appeared to still be in distress while attempting to get back to shore.
Firefighter Nick Swaboda swam approximately 200 yards to reach the man who was then brought to shore safely. Firefighter-paramedics treated the victims on scene and no additional medical attention was needed, officials say.
“Fortunately they were not in the water for a long period of time,” said Lieutenant Gent. “The good news is the child had a life preserver on, which undoubtedly saved her life along with the efforts from the citizens who assisted.”
The Brevard County Sheriff’s Office, Indialantic Police Department and Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission officers also responded to the scene. FWC officers towed the 15-foot vessel back to shore.