Coast Guard rescues woman, two children in Tampa Bay

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – The Coast Guard rescued a woman and two children after their kayaks were beset by weather near Bayou Grande in Tampa Bay, Tuesday.

Watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector St. Petersburg were contacted at 8:25 p.m. Tuesday by Matthew McDermid, reporting his wife and two children had gone kayaking in Tampa Bay at 6:00 p.m., and had not returned.

Sector search and rescue coordinators diverted a Coast Guard Station St. Petersburg 25-foot response boat crew at 8:34 p.m. to search for Lori McDermid, and her children, Olivia McDermid, 10, and Julia McDermid, 8.

At 8:52 p.m., the boatcrew located the missing kayakers. After treating Olivia McDermid for a foot laceration, all three family members were safely towed back to a private residence dock in Bayou Grande.

“We were lucky to have found these family members,” said Petty Officer 1st Class Robert Davis of Coast Guard Sector St. Petersburg Command Center, “they did not have any survival equipment or communications equipment onboard their vessels. In addition, it was getting dark, and with their lack of navigation lights, we only located them due to the keen eyes of the Station St. Petersburg boatcrew.”

The Coast Guard reminds all boaters that in the event of a maritime emergency, the use of a float plan, VHF radio, life jackets and an Emergency Position-Indicating Radio Beacon are critical on the waterways. Weather can be unpredictable in the Tampa Bay area and conditions on the water can quickly turn hazardous. Check weather conditions before going out and be prepared.

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