ST. PETERSBURG — The Coast Guard rescued a woman and her two young daughters Tuesday night after their kayaking trip went awry.
The three disappeared and were battered by thunderstorms and heavy winds in the dark of night while kayaking near Bayou Grande off Weedon Island, according to the Coast Guard.
Lori McDermid and her daughters Olivia, 10, and Julia, 8, went kayaking about 6 p.m. Her husband, Matthew McDermid, became concerned when they didn't return in time.
He called the Coast Guard station in St. Petersburg and reported them missing about 8:25 p.m. A 25-foot Coast Guard boat was sent out to look for the McDermids.
Although the kayakers had no lights, no emergency beacon and no radio, the crew was able to spot them in the dark within 30 minutes.
The mother was treated for a cut on her foot. Then the Coast Guard towed their kayaks to a private dock off Bayou Grande.
"We were lucky to have found these family members," said Petty Officer Robert Davis in a prepared statement. "They did not have any survival equipment or communications equipment on board their vessels.
"In addition, it was getting dark, and with their lack of navigation lights, we only located them due to the keen eyes of the Station St. Petersburg boat crew."