A Tennessee couple were found safe Monday after being reported lost while jet skiing near Mexico Beach.
Richard Smith and Judy Brown from Memphis traveled from Mexico Beach to St. Joseph Peninsula State Park by jet ski early Monday morning alongside family members who were on a separate jet ski.
Smith and Brown left the park ahead of other family but when the rest of the group made it back to Mexico Beach in the afternoon, Smith and Brown were nowhere to be found.
Family members called the Bay County Sheriff’s Office to file a missing persons report. Bay County Cpl. Steve Peoples opened an investigation. Mexico Beach Police Department personnel Chief Norris and Officer Mayfield responded.
The Bay County Air and Patrol Division, Florida Wildlife Commission, U.S. Coast Guard, Mexico Beach Emergency Service Unit, along with Gulf County Sheriff’s Office Patrol and Search and Rescue were assembled to search for the missing boaters.
Brown was eventually spotted attempting to swim onto the shore behind the El Governor Motel.
Peoples was first on the scene and assisted Brown until other units arrived. Medical personnel examined Brown, but found no injuries.
Brown said that she swam for over an hour before making it to shore and reported that the jet ski had capsized. She told officers that Smith was still with the jet ski.
With Brown’s information, the search area was widened and a short time later, a Coast Guard vessel located Smith. He suffered no injuries.
The jet ski was recovered Tuesday morning, one mile from Tyndall AFB.