Capsized boat leaves four struggling to survive strong currents

- Hillsborough Fire and Rescue crews responded to a call regarding a capsized boat in the Alafia River, Sunday afternoon. When they arrived on scene, 2 boaters were found safe on land while 2 were still missing.

A rescue boat and Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office helicopter began rescue operations when a third boater was found and able to swim to a dock the boater walked to a home along the river.  This is when the boaters informed rescue workers that the still missing fourth boater was not able to swim. 

Fortunately, Fire Rescue crews along with HCSO located the fourth victim in the water grasping to a tree limb in very strong currents. Rescue crews pulled the victim onto their boat and took the victim to a nearby boat ramp for medical evaluation. All four victims were medically evaluated, and none were in need of medical assistance.

The four told officials they set out on the boat, attempting to head up river but found they were fighting strong currents and decided to turn back. Their boat then struck a branch and the boat overturned.  None of the victims were wearing life jackets at the time of the incident and the boat was taken to a nearby boat ramp.

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