Lost rafters found safe

Published 12:06 am Wednesday, May 17, 2017

ECSO responded to group stranded on creek near Magnolia Branch

A group of kayakers and floaters received a bit of a scare after they became stranded on a creek near the Magnolia Branch area, according to the Escambia County Sheriff’s Office.

Chief Deputy Mike Lambert said the sheriff’s office received notification on May 14 at approximately 9 p.m. that two adults and nine children between the ages of 12-16 were unaccounted for.

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“The group launched at Grissett Bridge,” Lambert said. “They were headed to Magnolia Branch near the Sardine Bridge for their takeout.”

Lambert said at approximately 11 a.m., they launched, and shortly before 1 p.m., they started experiencing problems with their floats, which included snagging holes in them as they drifted down the creek.

Lambert said the kayaker left and went on to the landing, arriving at 8 p.m.

“They had no idea where they were,” he said. “They notified the Escambia County Sheriff’s Office who in return notified the Poarch Fire Department.”

Lambert said the PFD was in rout to watch the shallow boat come up the creek and tried to make contact with the missing floaters.

“ The Escambia Co. Sheriff’s Office contacted the land owner that parallels the creek in that area,” he said. “They were all found safe around approximately 9:30 p.m. near a private hunting club area. They were brought out by the private landowner by truck and brought back to Grissett Bridge, where their vehicle was and other family members awaited. They were cold and hungry, but okay and no medical attention was necessary.”

Lambert reminded those taking trips this time of year to make sure they have a route planned, and also how long it takes and to have an emergency plan in case the need arises.

“It is very difficult to navigate the waters, plus being able to have access to the roads and banks can be difficult in case you need to be assisted by people,” he said. “The weather can also be a serious factor.”