Naples firefighters, police make sure father, son get back on their feet after boat capsizes

Published: March 8, 2021 9:24 PM EST
Updated: March 8, 2021 11:03 PM EST
Naples Fire Department marine units respond to father and son in the water after their sailboat capsized off Gordon Pass in Collier County Sunday, March 7, 2021. Credit: Naples Fire Department via WINK News.

A father and son survived after their boat capsized, and they received a generous gift from those who saved them.

Over the weekend, Naples Fire Department rescued the pair off Gordon Pass in Collier County. Thankfully, the father and son, who are from the Tampa area, are reuniting with their family Monday.

Two boaters from the Tampa area were rescued Sunday morning off the coast of Collier County. (Credit: Naples Fire-Rescue)

Thanks to the help of Naples firefighters and police both of them had a place to stay, as first responders put the two up in a hotel overnight and gave them some funds to get by after a terrifying morning about 4 miles offshore.

“Both the father and the son were clinging to the bottom of the boat,” Naples Fire Lt. William Warren said.

It was a rough water rescue after their sailboat capsized offshore. Warren was the firefighter who pulled the two sailors in after the emergency call. Naples firefighters took their rescue vessel out, battling through choppy waters and 5-foot seas.

“The wind was really bad,” Warren said. “The waves were really bad.”

Warren and his crew had to act fast, as the father and son struggled to stay above water on the overturned boat.

“Even in an hour and a half, if they didn’t have the proper gear, they would have both been hypothermic and couldn’t have held onto the vessel,” Warren explained.

The sailors were wearing emergency equipment that helped rescuers locate them in the Gulf. The father and son were in a sailing race coming from Tampa when their boat capsized. After being rescued, they were on their way to see their family in the Keys Monday night.

Firefighters said the two were very thankful when their rescuers arrived.

“All they had on them were the clothes that they were wearing and their wetsuits, no cell phones, no wallets,” Naples Fire Lt. Steven Kofsy said. “We got them a hotel room and also gave them cash so they could get food and attempt to contact their family.”