U.S. Coast Guard rescues 2 boaters near Everglades City

EVERGLADES CITY, Fla.- A couple stranded all night in a boat was found Monday morning by the U.S. Coast Guard after a a massive search.

Authorities say 60-year-old William Benditt and 53-year-old Sharon Jeffkin are both safe.

The two rented a 19-foot Center Console near Everglades City. When they didn’t return, the manager at Glades Haven Marina called 911.

The Ochopee Fire Chief tells WINK News the two got stranded on a sand bar about 20 miles south of Everglades City after the tide went out.

The chief says the couple didn’t feel comfortable trying to navigate the waters at night.

The boaters said they did not have cell service, but were prepared with water and food.

Collier County EMS spotted the boaters around 10:30 a.m. Monday.

“They didn’t look like they were in distress,” said Collier County EMS Medflight Chief Pilot, Steve Adams.  “They were motoring along in the channel and it looked like they were coming back.”