What was supposed to be an exciting start to the snapper fish season in Florida for a group of friends last Friday quickly took a turn for the worse when a floating general store capsized as storms rolled in.
Friday, June 16, was the opening day of snapper season in Florida and Travis Brady and his friends were eager to seize the day. However, with storms in the forecast, they knew their time on the water was limited.
Nonetheless, Brady, a Panama City firefighter, and his friends left the Panama City Marina, which is located on Florida’s northern Gulf Coast.
“We could actually see the storm clouds rolling in behind us, so that’s when we decided to come back in,” Brady told AccuWeather On-Air Meteorologist Kristina Shalhoup in an interview on AccuWeather Early.
As they made their way back, fighting through 5- to 6-foot waves, their attention was drawn to a floating general store that had broken free from its moorings and was adrift in the treacherous waters.
An individual on another boat, who was later identified as Boyd Jordan, was attempting to tow the stranded vessel back to the boat ramp. But according to Brady, who was on the way over to assist Boyd and the stranded boat, Mother Nature had a different plan. The floating general store had flipped and suddenly capsized, putting its three occupants in danger.
Without hesitation, Jordan dove into the turbulent waters and shattered the glass windows of the boat to help free the trapped individuals.
“[Jordan] is the true hero of this story. Without hesitation, he was just in the water helping those people,” Brady told WJHG in an interview.
Acting swiftly, Brady and his friends worked together to rescue Jordan, tossing him a life jacket and pulling him back onboard their boat. The three individuals who had been aboard the now capsized houseboat were already equipped with life jackets.
Brady and his friends decided to guide the stranded trio to shore instead of attempting to bring them on their already overcrowded boat.
Once the trio made it back to land, Brady brought Jordan to his boat and saved it from colliding with the seawall.
Miraculously, all four people involved in this harrowing incident were rescued and brought back to shore. No serious injuries were reported.
“All glory be to God, man. He put us in the right place at the right time. I’ve never been super religious, but [Friday] was just an eye-opening moment for me,” Brady told WJHG. “I just feel like divine intervention puts you in the right place at the right time.”
The dramatic rescue was caught on camera and has since garnered widespread attention, serving as a reminder of the fast-changing weather conditions that can arise on the open waters. The incident also highlights the importance of being aware of the weather when engaging in maritime activities.
Monitoring the forecast, as well as the marine weather forecast, is crucial to boating safely because the weather can often change quickly, leaving boaters in a precarious position if unprepared.
Corrections: This article previously misstated that a houseboat capsized. It was a floating general store. In an interview with AccuWeather, Travis Brady said, “It’s essentially like a small houseboat that sells inflatables, if you’re familiar with the tourist industry.” In addition, one of the people involved in the incident was incorrectly listed as Jordan Boyd, and the name has since been corrected to Boyd Jordan.
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