SEMINOLE, Fla. (WFLA) — Two kayakers who went missing after capsizing near Seminole were found on a sailboat by the U.S. Coast Guard and are awaiting rescue.
According to Gulfport Fire Rescue, three kayakers went fishing in Pinellas County early Thursday morning. Two capsized in choppy waters, while the third was able to escape the current and paddle back to shore.
The third kayaker, Lucas, told News Channel 8 he and his friends ventured out into waters that were still churning from Hurricane Ian because it was no longer raining.
“We just wanted to go have a fun time,” Lucas said.
Their late-night fishing trip suddenly became a fight for their lives after they became swept up in a current.
“We had one person capsize a kayak and everything just went downhill from there,” Lucas said.
Lucas told News Channel 8 his friend tried to climb onto another kayak and they were both pulled out to sea. He tried to grab them, but then decided to paddle back to shore to get help.
A Coast Guard helicopter spotted flashing lights coming from a sailboat near Gulfport while they were on their way to refuel. Gulfport Fire Rescue Capt. Jim Lundh said the kayakers were “extremely lucky” to survive capsizing in rough waters – especially because they weren’t wearing life vests.
Lucas is still waiting to be reunited with his friends. He said he won’t be doing this again anytime soon.
“Crazy situation. Never doing this again, for sure,” Lucas said.