Good Samaritans rescued boater stranded after engine fire

NASSAU COUNTY, Fla. — A local couple tells Action News Jax they helped save a stranded boater’s life. Deputies said the man had a medical issue.

“He had shot off flares and nobody even stopped or anything, checked on him. He said he waved at people, nobody responded to him,” said Paulette Henderson.

Paulette and Joe Henderson said they quickly jumped into the man’s boat help after they said he told them he used a flare gun and tried to get other boater’s attention for nearly two hours.

“At one point I bet he passed out 10 times with me. One point he was puking, I was very scared for him,” said Paulette Henderson.

The 55-year-old man told them he had an electrical fire on his boat. Deputies said he either suffered from a heart attack or an electrical shock. The man wasn’t getting any better, so Joe Henderson called the Coast Guard.


The Hendersons said they were about 12 miles off the coast. They said they stayed with the man for about an hour and a half or so until the Coast Guard arrived. They said they are just thankful they got to the man when they did.

“Ain’t telling how far he would’ve drifted out to sea, because he was going out to the tide as tide was going out,” said Joe Henderson.

Coming to someone’s aid – it’s supposed to be the right thing to do. Joe Henderson hopes in the future, it won’t take two hours for someone to do it.

“When you see people out there in distress, go to them, help them,” he said.

Action News Jax talked to the victim over the phone on Wednesday. He just got home from the hospital and is doing OK, but still a little weak.

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