VIDEO: Aviation Unit Assists In Rescue of Missing Boater
By Brevard County Sheriff // October 27, 2014
ABOVE VIDEO: Chief Pilot John Coppola and his flight crew flew to the area and were able to successfully locate the missing boater who was in distress and clinging to his overturned 14- foot boat. The victim was not wearing a life jacket and his small dog was positioned atop the overturned boat.
Chief Pilot John Coppola, Tactical Flight Officer Mike Ryle and Tactical Flight Officer William Gleason Save Boater
BREVARD COUNTY, FLORIDA – The Sheriff’s Office Aviation Unit assisted in the rescue of a missing boater and his dog on Saturday afternoon in Lake Poinsett in Cocoa.
The boater was last seen about 9 a.m., and reported missing yesterday around 3 p.m. The Sheriff’s Office Aviation Unit was then dispatched to Lake Poinsett.
Chief Pilot John Coppola and his flight crew flew to the area and were able to successfully locate the missing boater who was in distress and clinging to his overturned 14- foot boat.
The victim was not wearing a life jacket and his small dog was positioned atop the overturned boat.
As Chief Coppola hovered the Huey over the victim, Tactical Flight Officer Mike Ryle of the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office, and Tactical Flight Officer William Gleason of the Melbourne Police Department, jumped from the helicopter into the water with a life jacket to rescue the victim who was physically exhausted and had been clinging to the overturned boat for almost six hours.
As the Tactical Flight Officers secured the victim and his dog, Chief Coppola located another boater not far from the area and was able to direct the boater to the scene of the incident to help aid in the rescue of the victim and his pet.
“I could not be more proud of the life sSaving actions of our Aviation Unit, Patrol Deputies, General Crimes Unit, Brevard County Fire Rescue and fellow boaters who assisted with saving this distressed boater,” said Sheriff Wayne Ivey.
“These incredible actions are a true testament of their passion to help others. Our Aviation Unit members use their specialized training and expertise to help our citizens and law enforcement officers every day.”
The victim was transported to the shoreline where Brevard County Fire Rescue transported him for medical treatment and evaluation due to exposure symptoms.