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Press Release | July 9, 2024

Coast Guard locates, rescues missing mother off Cedar Key

Public Affairs Detachment Tampa Bay - 305-965-4672

Editor's note: All Coast Guard Southeast imagery can be found on DVIDS, here.  

CLEARWATER, Fla. —  Coast Guard crews rescued a missing mother, Tuesday, after a coastal thunderstorm separated her from her husband and child while paddleboarding off Cedar Key.   

Levy County Sheriff's Office dispatch contacted Coast Guard Sector St. Petersburg watchstanders at 10:41 a.m., reporting that a paddleboarder lost sight of his wife and had to beach himself and his child on Dog Island due to inclement weather.

A Coast Guard Aids to Navigation Team St. Petersburg boat crew located the missing mother around 11 a.m., retrieved the father and child, and transported them to Cedar Key Boat Ramp.

“We were scanning the water with binoculars when we spotted the bright orange life jacket she was wearing,” said Petty Officer 3rd Class Elizabeth Knight, Aids to Navigation Team St. Petersburg. “She appeared to be exhausted from paddling against the weather and once she saw us she waved her paddle in the air and started calling for help.”

“Regardless of their assigned task Coast Guard crews are always ready to save mariners at sea, in this case, while conducting routine maintenance, our aids to navigation team was able to assist in the rescue of a paddleboarder who was believed to be in distress,” said Capt. Michael P. Kahle, commander of Sector St. Petersburg. “I want to thank our Coast Guard men and women conducting aids to navigation duties nationwide, and I’m glad that our crews were able to reunite this mother with her husband and child.”

No injuries were reported.

The weather is constantly changing, and monitoring those changes is the best way to keep you and your family safe on the water. Visit to view your local weather forecast before your next boating trip.

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