HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) – A father and daughter were successfully rescued Saturday after the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office teamed up with local boaters to locate the missing pair after they didn’t return from taking their jetski out earlier in the evening.
According to HCSO, Christopher Snow, 31, and his 13-year-old daughter Alexis Snow went out on their jetski from Baker Creek Park in Thonotosassa around 6:50 p.m.
A short while later, around 8 p.m. Christopher Snow’s girlfriend, Carolyn Joyce, went to the dock after they hadn’t returned home or answered any of her calls. Officials said that’s where Joyce found HCSO Deputy Kevin Reich conducting routine surveillance and asked him for help.
After asking Deputy Reich for help, a local man and his family offered to take the deputy out on their boat to search while waiting for assistance from marine and aviation units.
HCSO said that around 40 minutes after meeting with Joyce, Deputy Reich was able to locate Christopher and his daughter. The sheriff’s office stated that the two had been treading water for nearly an hour.
After being rescued, Snow said he wanted to thank the boaters that helped and the deputy for “noticing something wasn’t right.”
“I want to thank both the boaters that helped and the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office for being on patrol and noticing something wasn’t right,” Christopher Snow said in a statement. “My life jacket wasn’t sized properly, so this is a good reminder to make sure yours is fitted correctly.”
Hillsborough County Sheriff Chad Chronister also stated that he’s relieved Christopher and his daughter Alexis were returned to shore safely and without any injuries.
“The swift response of our deputy and the assistance provided by the community played a crucial role in the successful rescue of Christopher and Alexis Snow,” Sheriff Chad Chronister said. “We are relieved that they were returned to shore safely and without any injuries. It is scary to imagine what could have happened had this father and daughter not been wearing their life jackets.”
HCSO urges residents to prioritize their safety while engaging in water sports and to always carry their cell phones in case of an emergency. Anyone interested in learning more about proper water safety protocols can contact the HCSO Marine Unit at 813-247-8200.