City of Fernandina Beach Fire Rescue
Ty Silcox, Fire Chief
April 5, 2018 12:14 p.m.
On Wednesday, April 04, 2018 at 1:51 P.M., the Fernandina Beach Fire Department’s Division of Ocean Rescue was dispatched to the report of a raft losing air with three juveniles on board. The raft was caught in the currents and was drifting away from the shore.
Upon arrival, emergency response units observed a raft approximately one mile from the shore with three occupants unable to paddle in. A citizen was attempting to assist the three people with a paddle board when units arrived. When the Fernandina Beach Fire Department and Division of Ocean Rescue units arrived on scene, they immediately made entry into the water with a rescue cans and boards. Within twenty-one (21) minutes of being dispatched, Lifeguards had contacted the victims and assessed them for any medical emergencies.
With assistance provided by the Nassau County Sheriff’s Office Marine Unit, Lifeguards helped the individuals onto the Sheriffs boat, which transported them to the shore. All three juveniles were returned safely, evaluated by EMS crews, and reunited with family members.
Lifeguards then took the time to educate the victims and bystanders on the dangers of the ocean, and proper water safety tips. The Division of Ocean Rescue encourages all beach goers to use adequate flotation devices with proper leashes and/or lifejackets while in the surf, and to always remain close to shore.