Boaters found safe after morning search


FLAGER COUNTY, Fla. – The Flagler County Sheriff's Office was contacted by a father of a teenager who had gone boating with friends around noon on Saturday, when she failed to return home by 9 p.m.

Sheriff's deputies located a vehicle and a boat trailer at Bings Landing on North Oceanshore Drive. While searching the area, police called for assistance from the Volusia County Sheriff's Office Air One helicopter as well the Florida Wildlife Commission and the U.S. Coast Guard and the FCSO Marine Patrol Unit.

The boat and passengers were located by Air One on the Intracoastal Waterway near Whitney Lab in Marineland around 1:15 a.m. The Boat owner from Palm Coast, Danilo Gomez explained that he, three family members and the teen were traveling from St. Augustine when they had engine problems. He went on to tell deputies that the cell phone they had did not work and he was unable to call for assistance.

Deputies removed the passengers and the boat was being moored in Marineland until the owner could remove it.

Flagler County Sheriff James L. Manfre said in a statement, "We are happy for the positive outcome of the search. There was great cooperation between several agencies to locate these boaters who otherwise may have spent the night drifting on the water. He wanted to thank everyone who was involved in the search."