Angels on the Water
What began as Tropical Storm Debby, no longer exists, but the severe weather system has left a trail of destruction through much of North Florida.
One Chiefland family welcomed Debby from their houseboat, but soon realized it was an unwelcome guest.
After nearly a day of being stranded in the extreme conditions Penni Adams says that she and her family wouldn’t be alive without the Coast Guard, a group her family now refers to as their angels.
"It really scared me."
Penni Adams, her husband Scott, and 2 sons were enjoying what they thought would be a fun weekend on the water.
Things turned sour after the family of four noticed their house boat taking on water 3-quarters of a mile from shore.
That’s when Penni’s mother, Judy Filor decided to call the Coast Guard.
Coast Guardsman, BM2 Morelli says that for his crew of three the rescue wasn't as simple as it might've seemed.
“I would say maybe once twice a year we get a really good distress call of a boat taking on water and we go and physically pull people off a boat.”
Debby swept through Yankee town with sustained winds of 30-40 knots, 3 foot seas, and tidal surges.
The crew was only able to rescue 3 of those on board house boat before their hydraulic line broke, rendering the rescue boat nearly un-navigable.
Meanwhile Scott Adams was alone and drifting on a houseboat that was quickly catching water.
Penni says that at that point she didn't know what to think. “There was a time when I thought we wouldn't get my husband off the boat and there was a time when I didnt know how long we’d have to wait for another boat when their boat broke..."
And it was at that time Morelli made a call to same Coast Guard station as well.
Within minutes, 3 more Coast Guard members arrived and were able to reach Mr. Adams, and bring the group of people now totaling 8 back to shore.
Eventually the houseboat washed ashore near Cedar Key, about 10 miles from where the rescue took place.
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