Airboat rescue saves stranded duck hunters from freezing temps
The Orange County Sheriff’s Office received a call around 11:39 a.m., Friday concerning three duck hunters stranded in the marsh with engine problems. The person calling the sheriff’s department said he had attempted to reach the three young men with his boat from Bailey’s Road but couldn’t reach them.
Sheriff Keith Merritt was notified by dispatch and was told that the young men had reported that the cold temperatures were really having an effect on them.
Merritt, along with Chief Deputy Clint Hodgkinson were able to launch the Sheriff’s Office airboat off the sid of Bailey’s Road. The subjects were quickly located with the help of the original caller. The three hunters boarded the airboat and their disabled boat was towed in with Merritt at the helm of the airboat.
The young men were grateful when returned to dry ground and their families, who were waiting on Bailey’s Road.
Although the freezing weather and low tide increased the dangers of the rescue, Sheriff Merritt was thankful the young men were unharmed and safe.