Good Samaritans rescue three from capsized boat in Ponce Inlet

Good Samaritans rescue three from capsized boat in Ponce Inlet

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Three men are glad to be back on dry land after their boat capsized in the Ponce Inlet in Volusia County.

Port Orange Realtor Phil Hanner saw the rescue take place. He said he was out on Sunday afternoon around 3:30 taking a walk with his daughter.

"I saw three people who looked like they were standing in shallow water, but I know the water is deep there," said Hanner. "When I first saw it I thought why are those people out there because it's extremely dangerous. The waves were huge."

Hanner said he soon realized the three men were in trouble.

He said the men were waving their arms, while standing on top of their boat.. Hanner said a stand-up paddle boarder also went out to help.

Minutes later, a crew from Towboat US was called out to the scene.

"Good Northeast winds in the neighborhood of 15 to 20 knots," said Capt. Derrick Dolph from Towboat US. "Probably got to be  a little more than that boat should be in. We were the first ones on scene, as well as a good Samaritan, who was pulling the people out of the water when our guy arrived on scene."

Hanner said a good Samaritan in another boat picked up the three men. Towboat US towed the group's boat back to shore.

It's unclear if the three men were wearing life jackets, but one thing is clear: they owe their lives to strangers.

"The one guys was sitting in the boat, kind of looking down, and I'm sure he was kind of upset and scared," said Hanner.

"After picking up the guys' boat, he also saw some debris floating in the water," said Capt. Dolph. "He wanted to check it out and did find a water tight box with some of the guys' valuables."

FOX 35 also spoke with the Coast Guard.  A spokesperson said they didn't officially handle the case, because the men had already been rescued when they arrived on scene.


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