Sanibel reacts to teenager lost at sea

Reporter: Elizabeth Biro Writer: Elyssa Morataya
Published: Updated:

On the shoreline, locals and visitors try to enjoy their day at Blind Pass Beach in Sanibel, but in the back of their minds, their hearts break, knowing what happened Tuesday.

In the background, boats scour the water on a search and rescue mission for a missing teenager who never made it back to shore.

“Seeing all the guys out here doing what they do, I’m sure they have families as well, and just watching my two out here, it’s kind of hard to rejoice with them here,” said Jami Foster, a visitor from Jacksonville.

Jami and many others have their little ones with them, which raises the sobering question: What if it were my own child?

“I couldn’t compare,” said Foster. “My heart goes out.”

“It’s very emotional for me because I have grandkids and just think what the parents right now is going through,” said another beachgoer named Paulette.

“It really hit home when I found out it was actually someone from our local area,” said local Debi Brown.

Four Fort Myers teens went into the water Tuesday before noon. One came back asking for help.

Sanibel Fire and a swimmer rescued two of the teens by using a paddle board.

The Sanibel Chief of Police, William Dalton, said on Wednesday afternoon that the search was concentrated around Blind Pass Beach.

“As time progresses, the search area will increase, but just because of tides and so forth,” said Dalton.

For now, hearts on Blind Pass Beach ache, and the hope is the same.

“I just wish the best for the family, and I hope they can find him,” said Ben Salinas.

“I hope that they’re able to recover, and I hope that everybody is safe while they go in the water,” said Brown.

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