Mother rescued by Coast Guard after vanishing during thunderstorm off Florida coast

Mother rescued by Coast Guard after vanishing during thunderstorm off Florida coast

A family’s paddleboarding outing in Florida took a terrifying turn on Tuesday.

A mother was with her family off of Cedar Key when a thunderstorm kicked up, according to a U.S. Coast Guard press release.

The Coast Guard Sector Petersburg was contacted by Levy County Sheriff’s Office dispatch at 10:41 a.m. 

The Sheriff’s office reported that a paddleboarder lost sight of his wife due to inclement weather and ultimately took himself and his daughter safely to a beach on nearby Dog Island.

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The missing mother was located by authorities around 11 a.m. Tuesday. Soon afterward, she was reunited with her husband and child. The family was taken by boat to Cedar Key Boat Ramp.

“We were scanning the water with binoculars when we spotted the bright orange life jacket she was wearing,” Petty Officer 3rd Class Elizabeth Knight said in the Coast Guard release.

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“She appeared to be exhausted from paddling against the weather and once she saw us she waved her paddle in the air and started calling for help,” Knight added.

Capt. Michael P. Kahle, commander of Sector St. Petersburg, praised the rescue, saying, “Regardless of their assigned task Coast Guard crews are always ready to save mariners at sea. In this case, while conducting routine maintenance, our aids to navigation team was able to assist in the rescue of a paddleboarder who was believed to be in distress.”

The Coast Guard said no one was injured.

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Kahle added, “I want to thank our Coast Guard men and women conducting aids to navigation duties nationwide, and I’m glad that our crews were able to reunite this mother with her husband and child.”

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