Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Four people rescued after boat capsizes off Hernando Beach

HERNANDO BEACH — Jeff Hardy and his friends had one goal when they set out on a fishing trip Friday afternoon: beat the Memorial Day weekend crowds.

But as darkness fell, the waves and wind picked up. Hardy and his crew, which included two friends and a nephew, knew they were in trouble.

The boat started taking on water. The men grabbed for the life jackets.

"They didn't even have time," said Vicki Hardy, Jeff's wife. "The water just came up and flipped the boat."

Vicki Hardy, who was at the couple's home in Shady Hills near Hudson, said her husband, 52, called her from his cellphone shortly after 10:30 p.m., as the boat was going down.

The cellphone somehow worked despite getting wet, she said. She called 911.

Both the U.S. Coast Guard and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission responded. Authorities said a Coast Guard helicopter located the boat and directed an FWC officer to the scene about 11 p.m.

The officer found the men clinging to the hull of the 21-foot boat. It had overturned in an area known as Ben Dickenson Reef, about 20 miles west of Hernando Beach.

No one was injured. The boaters were brought to the Hernando Beach Boat Ramp, where Vicki Hardy picked them up at 1:30 a.m. Besides Jeff Hardy, the other boaters were Harry "Skip" Barber, 50, of Brooksville; Donald King, 50, of Shady Hills; and Shean Wesney, 27, of Shady Hills.

Vicki Hardy said all are familiar with the Ben Dickenson Reef area, but they usually fish there during the day. This was to be their first overnight trip.

Even though the men were in the water for a short time, it could have been worse, said FWC officer Robert Scholl.

He said the incident should be a reminder for boaters to always wear a life jacket.

Kameel Stanley can be reached at kstanley@tampabay.com or (727) 893-8643.

Four people rescued after boat capsizes off Hernando Beach 05/26/12 [Last modified: Saturday, May 26, 2012 10:18pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Deputies: Tampa man killed after car strikes tree

    Accidents

    TOWN 'N COUNTRY — A 24-year-old man was killed early Sunday after he lost control of his car, causing it to hit a pine tree.

  2. O.J. Simpson had a 'conflict-free life'? Not really, not in Florida

    Nation

    LOS ANGELES — When O.J. Simpson told a Nevada parole board last week that he's led a "conflict-free life," he seemed to overlook a few episodes that had him cycling in and out of courtrooms and jail cells for nearly 20 years before the Las Vegas hotel-room heist that sent him to prison in 2008.

    Former NFL football star O.J. Simpson appears via video for his parole hearing at the Lovelock Correctional Center in Lovelock, Nev., on Thursday, July 20, 2017.  Simpson was granted parole Thursday after more than eight years in prison for a Las Vegas hotel heist, successfully making his case in a nationally televised hearing that reflected America's enduring fascination with the former football star.  [The Reno Gazette-Journal via AP]
  3. Baby Charlie protesters to rally as hospital reports threats

    World

    LONDON — Protesters who want critically ill British baby Charlie Gard to receive an experimental medical treatment are planning a rally and prayer vigil Sunday, while hospital officials say emotions are running so high in the heart-breaking case they have received death threats.

    Reverend Patrick Mahoney from Washington DC, centre, speaks to the media outside the Royal Courts of Justice in London, as he joins other Charlie Gard supporters, Sunday July 23, 2017. Protesters who want critically ill British baby Charlie Gard to receive an experimental medical treatment gathered for a rally and prayer vigil Sunday, while hospital officials say emotions are running so high in the heart-breaking case they have received death threats. [Associated Press]