A Small Craft Advisory for high winds and rough seas was in force over the weekend of February 20-21 in the waters off Fort Lauderdale, Fla. Nevertheless, Sea Tow Capt. Luis Rodas, who had his distinctive yellow, 31-foot jet boat tied up to a dredge in a position where he could keep an eye on Hillsboro Inlet spotted a small craft − a 15-foot skiff − with a man and woman on board making their way out the inlet to the Atlantic Ocean.
Sea Tow Fort Lauderdale Owners Capt. Tim and Lisa Morgan, who also were out that day in their personal boat (but had no thought of attempting the inlet), had just pulled alongside Capt. Rodas when he started untying his Sea Tow boat from the dredge.
“What are you doing?” Lisa Morgan asked − but then she saw what he had seen: The skiff had swamped near a coral reef and both people, who were not wearing life jackets, were now overboard, and the woman was being swept toward the end of the reef.
Capt. Rodas raced to the reef and, thanks to his boat’s shallow draft and jet drives, was able to pull alongside the woman, who was beginning to lose her struggle to stay afloat. He quickly pulled her aboard to safety, then went to rescue the boat’s owner. With both people safely aboard, he then got a line on their stricken boat and was able to tow it to shore. Capt. Tim and Lisa Morgan were able to video the whole rescue from a safe distance on their boat.
Instead of ending in a double tragedy, the heroic Sea Tow Captain took the couple and their boat to a local boat ramp.
“Nobody got hurt, and they were able to just hook up their boat to their vehicle and drive away,” said Lisa Morgan. It was just another day in the life of a vigilant Sea Tow Captain.