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Couple rescued after getting lost while kayaking

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Posted at 4:56 AM, Mar 10, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-10 04:56:45-05

COLLIER COUNTY, Fla. — The Collier County Sheriff’s Office rescued a couple who went Kayaking Monday night and got lost.

The Collier County Sheriff’s Office’s Aviation Bureau was called in to help locate the couple.

The couple, both 67, told deputies they are on vacation from New York and rented two kayaks from an Everglades City business and were dropped off at the Turner River Canoe Launch on U.S. 41 East near Turner River Road around 9:30 am.

They were given maps and guidance for their solo trip.

The couple said they headed south and were enjoying their trip, but at some point, they took a wrong turn either in the backwaters of Halfway Creek or Left Turner Branch and got stuck as low tide hit around 5:15 p.m.

They called 911 shortly thereafter to report they were lost but not in distress.

Emergency dispatchers were able to get only limited information from the couple, but they were able to get GPS coordinates as to the couple’s possible whereabouts.

The Greater Naples Fire Department, the National Park Service, and North Collier Fire Department, first responders teamed up to track down the business that had rented the kayaks to the couple and found they had not returned on schedule.

CCSO’s Air 1 Huey rescue helicopter was deployed carrying Pilot Lt. Dennis De Rienzo, Co-Pilot Cpl. Joe Andreasen and Crew Chief Cpl. Josh White, along with North Collier Fire Rescue Specialists ENG Mason Bellamy and Lt. Brent Loewel. The crew flew to the couple’s last known GPS coordinates as relayed to them by dispatchers. The crew located the couple shortly thereafter around 7:30 p.m., about 10 miles from where they began their journey.

Loewel and Bellamy were lowered to the ground from the Huey and brought the couple back up separately into the helicopter.

The couple had no reported injuries.