After Boating Accident, Teen and Family Return to Give Thanks to Life-Saving Health First Flight Team

By  //  May 15, 2024

crash near capt. hirams resulted in Goslant, Chatwood to be ejected from boat

Family, friends, and Health First’s First Flight team pose for a photo with boating accident victim Nicole Goslant (lower center) and her boyfriend Spencer Chatwood during a ‘thank you’ reunion on Saturday, May 11. (Health First image)

BREVARD COUNTY, FLORIDA – What started in March as a typical boating excursion for two teenagers off the coast of Sebastian quickly went from nightmarish to heroic and now has come full circle with an emotional “thank you” to the responding medical crew.

Sixteen-year-old Nicole Goslant, flanked by a grateful mother, boyfriend, and nearly a dozen family members and friends, visited Health First’s First Flight air ambulance team in Melbourne this week for the opportunity to share some hugs and say “thank you.”

In March, Goslant and her boyfriend, 18-year-old Spencer Chatwood, were boating near Captain Hiram’s in Sebastian. The boat the two were riding in hit a wake caused by another crossing vessel and both Goslant and Chatwood were thrown out of the boat.

While Chatwood escaped serious injury, Goslant hit her head near the propeller – knocking her unconscious. Chatwood recovered quickly from the spill only to realize Nicole was floating unconscious and, to make matters worse, he realized her hair was entangled in the propeller – keeping her trapped in the water.

The teen’s instincts and quick action were the first of numerous life-saving events that led to Nicole’s recovery.

“I came up out of the water, and then the boat went right in front of me,” Chatwood recalled. “She was already knocked out at that point. I just knew immediately that she was going to be tangled in the propeller. So, I just jumped in the boat and got a pair of scissors I knew I had in my fishing bag to cut her loose.”

Boating accident victim Nicole Goslant poses next to Health First’s First Flight air ambulance used to save her life. (Health First image)
Boating accident victim Nicole Goslant’s boyfriend Spencer Chatwood. Chatwood immediately aided Goslant while she was unconscious in the water after being knocked off the boat they were riding in. (Health First image)

Chatwood then held her against the boat with her head above water until another nearby boat approached to help and bring the two back to shore.

Goslant was brought to a local hospital and quickly airlifted by Health First’s First Flight team to Holmes Regional Medical Center, the region’s only Level II Trauma Center. Based in Brevard County, First Flight serves the entire county, more than 70 miles, but Indian River County and parts of Osceola and Orange counties also depend on it for emergency transport.

Goslant sustained a major head injury, was quickly losing blood, and needed to be stabilized in the air ambulance.

“We intercepted them at Sebastian Hospital, and when we made contact, our utmost concern, obviously, was that she was not breathing. Luckily, EMS had done a fantastic job and had already placed an airway before we got there,” explained flight nurse Jo Folsom.

“Our job was just to continue the support they had already initiated. We placed her in the helicopter, put her on a ventilator, medicated her for pain and sedation, and continued life-saving efforts until we got to the trauma center.”

“We didn’t realize initially that she had actually been caught in the propeller and that her boyfriend was the one that cut her loose. I mean that in itself saved her life. Otherwise, she would have been a drowning victim. So, again, it’s just that everybody did exactly what they were supposed to. The EMS crew did exactly what they were supposed to do, and we took it from there,” Folsom continued.

Health First’s First Flight responding crew members Prudence Meads, left, and Jo Folsom. (Health First image)

Folsom says that while her days are filled with life-saving events, there are some responses – like this one – that will stick forever.

“There are certain calls that you don’t forget. This to me is one of those calls. Definitely. Absolutely. We were still talking about this call the day after. Most accident victims never want to do something like this [reunion], which I certainly understand. Many folks want to put it out of their memory or just move on. Her return is super special. It’s not every day you get to meet them and actually give them a hug and actually see how well they’re doing.”

“It’s such a relief to know that we came out on the other side and that she’s okay,” said Nicole’s mom Carmen Carrandi. And because of this first response and such a quick response and everything they did to save her, that’s why she’s here with us today.”

“We always wanted to find everyone that was involved in her rescue and make sure that we said thank you and show our gratitude and appreciation. And so we started doing some research, and I got the name off of the card that was delivered to the hospital, which was such a sweet gesture. And here we are today.”

Nicole’s mom Carmen Carrandi hugs First Flight flight nurse Jo Folsom. Folsom was part of the responding flight crew who helped stabilize and transport Nicole Goslant to Health First’s Holmes Regional Medical Center. (Health First image)
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