Homosassa missing boater found alive - WFLA News Channel 8

Homosassa missing boater found alive

Posted: Updated:
Dora Steed was taken to Seven Rivers Medical Center in Crystal River. Dora Steed was taken to Seven Rivers Medical Center in Crystal River.
Ernest Croft found the missing diver Friday morning. Ernest Croft found the missing diver Friday morning.
HOMOSASSA, FL (WFLA) -

It’s clear that Ernest Croft isn’t all that comfortable with the word “hero” to describe himself.

But, what else do you call a man who goes out in a boat in the middle of a raging thunderstorm with lightning crashing around him? He risked his life to find a woman he doesn’t even know. She was missing in the water.

Croft found her.

“I was just doing my job,” said the longtime captain. “My wife thinks I’m a hero.”

Captain Ernie, as they call him in Homosassa, went out with search groups from Citrus County, Florida Fish and Wildlife and the Coast Guard to find 49-year-old Dora Steed.

Dora was scalloping and snorkeling with her husband Thursday afternoon. When they were in the water, their boat drifted away. He swam a half mile to go get it. When he got back, she had vanished.

Turns out, Dora was treading water for twelve hours near Green Key Island.

She says she saw the lights from the multiple boats, but they couldn’t hear her screaming. She stayed alive by drinking rainwater from her goggles and hanging on to a PVC post in the water.

Captain Ernie searched all night. When he found her, it was a great moment.

“I seen her standing about waist deep, she had her flippers waving them, we got her in the boat and put a towel around her. Was she yelling? No, she was so far off, I wouldn't have heard her,” he said.

She didn’t cry. She didn’t complain. Dora was just happy to be wrapped in a blanket and rescued.

We asked Captain Ernie, “Any tears from her?” He told 8 On Your Side, ”Nope. She was smiling the whole time, she's a local girl, knew what she was doing, handled it real good.”

Dora was taken to Seven Rivers Hospital for treatment. She was dehydrated and tired.

She never let go of her scallops.

Copyright 2014 WFLA. All rights reserved.



  • Don't Miss ItMore>>

  • Restaurant Ratings Most Violations: August 11 - 16

    Restaurant Ratings Most Violations: August 11 - 16

    Friday, August 22 2014 12:57 PM EDT2014-08-22 16:57:41 GMT
    Ever wonder what goes on in the kitchen of your favorite restaurants? We've gathered details about the Tampa Bay restaurants that received the most violations during inspections conducted from August 11 to 16, 2014.
    Ever wonder what goes on in the kitchen of your favorite restaurants? We've gathered details about the Tampa Bay restaurants that received the most violations during inspections conducted from August 11 to 16, 2014.
  • Pet-friendly dating sites match up people, pooches

    Pet-friendly dating sites match up people, pooches

    Friday, August 22 2014 11:30 AM EDT2014-08-22 15:30:19 GMT
    You Must Love Dogs Dating.com Facebook photoYou Must Love Dogs Dating.com Facebook photo
    Sites like PetsDating.com and YouMustLoveDogsDating.com have found a new niche as singles flock to computers and smartphones to find relationships, connecting dog owners to potential mates who enjoy long walks in the dog park and slobbery canine kisses as much as they do.
    Sites like PetsDating.com and YouMustLoveDogsDating.com have found a new niche as singles flock to computers and smartphones to find relationships, connecting dog owners to potential mates who enjoy long walks in the dog park and slobbery canine kisses as much as they do.
  • 8 of the craziest fast food items

    8 of the craziest fast food items

    Friday, August 22 2014 9:50 AM EDT2014-08-22 13:50:18 GMT
    Sick of the old Big Mac or chicken nuggets here in the U.S.?
    Sick of the old Big Mac or chicken nuggets here in the U.S.?
  • Most Viewed Stories on WFLA.com

  • Sign up for WFLA News Channel 8 Email Alerts

    * denotes required fields






    Thank you for signing up! You will receive a confirmation email shortly.
Powered by WorldNow

200 South Parker Street, Tampa, FL 33606

Telephone: 813.228.8888
Fax: 813.225.2770
Email: news@wfla.com

Can’t find something?
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Media General Communications Holdings, LLC. A Media General Company.