Marco Island boater rescued from stranded boat

Photographer: Elias Yacob
Published: Updated:

MARCO ISLAND, Fla.- A boating trip along the Marco River turned into a scary situation Friday evening.

Hugette Pelletier says her husband Gilles took his boat out that afternoon, but didn’t return, or call her, when he said he’d be back.

“He’s never late and he always calls me. If he’s going to be late he will give me a call and say ‘I’m going to be late.'” said Pelletier.

She found his van, and an empty boat trailer at the Marina he left from. No where to be found. She called Marco Island Fire Rescue. Pelletier says they arrived just minutes after she called.

Crews searched the river for more than an hour.

“Time is of the essence and weather could come in and really play a role in not being able to find somebody.”

Just before sunset, they contacted the boater via emergency radio.

He was rescued six miles south of Marco River, at Blind Pass. His boat, stuck on a sandbar. He told officers he tried to anchor down, and take a nap. When he woke up, he was on land.

Marco Fire Rescue caught the rescue mission on camera, as they pulled Pelletier on board.

“What a scare you gave me!”

The Pelletier’s reunited hours later, thankful crews were able to find this boater quickly.

‘Thank you for your wonderful job,” said Gilles. ”

His boat was towed back to the marina Friday.

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