Good Samaritan rescues two missing divers

HERNANDO, Fla. – A good Samaritan rescued two divers who had been adrift for nearly 24 hours, 20 miles west of Hernando Beach, Fla., at about 2 p.m. Sunday.

Watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector St. Petersburg, Fla., received a call from Patrick Pinder, from New Port Richie, Fla., at about 2 p.m., reporting that he and his sons, Garrett and Patrick Jr., found Timothy Allen, 52, and Paula Allen, 48, from Howie-in-the-Hills, Fla., floating in the water about 20 miles west of Hernando Beach.

Timothy and Paula Allen reported that they had been unable to swim back to their 28-foot boat, the Wehoo, due to a strong current following a dive at 3 p.m. Saturday, and had began to drift away.

The divers were taken to the Hernando County Boat Ramp, in Hernando Beach, where awaiting EMS took them to Oak Hill Hospital, in Brooksville, Fla.

Their conditions are unknown.

“Mr. and Mrs. Allen were incredibly lucky to have been found by the good Samaritan today,” said Lt. Miguel Torrez, a search-and-rescue coordinator at Coast Guard Sector St. Petersburg, Fla. “The Coast Guard cannot stress enough the importance of filing a float plan with a family member or a friend and having the proper safety equipment when boaters and divers go out on the water.”

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