Missing boaters found in wildlife refuge

Overturned airboat found in remote area

Published On: Dec 27 2013 05:34:37 PM EST   Updated On: Dec 27 2013 05:39:22 PM EST
PARKLAND, Fla. -

Two boaters who were lost in a wildlife refuge after their airboat overturned near the Broward and Palm Beach County line Friday were found and brought to safety after an intensive search.

An man and his nephew were out fishing when sudden rough weather overturned their boat.

"It was a freak accident," Gary Kendricks said. "We don't drink. We don't do dope. Just all of a sudden a wind-like little tornado just flipped me over."

"My main concern was for my uncle," said Chris Mall. "My phone actually worked for a minute or two. The first person I called was my dad and let him know we were OK and let him know to go ahead and send help."

The pair said they were a little afraid that an alligator would get them, but despite their ordeal, they were in very good spirits.

Missing boaters found in wildlife refuge

HER IN A OF LIVE REPORT AS SOON AS WE CAN CONNECT WITH HER. MORE BREAKING NEWS NOW, TWO BOATERSING FINALLY FOUND IN A WILDLIFE REFUGE. SEVERAL AGENCIES SHOWED UP TO BRING THEM TO SAFETY. THEY WERE MISSING NEAR THE BROWARD-PALM BEACH COUNTY LINE IN PARKLAND AND THE SEARCH MOVED SOUTH TO CORRUPTION. AND THAT IS WHERE JOHN TURCHIN IS WITH THEIR SAFE RETURN TO DRY LAND. Reporter: WE'VE GOTTEN IN OUR VEHICLE AND HEADED NORTH TO THAT PARKLAND AREA. IF YOU TAKE WAXHATCHY ROAD AND GO NORTH THAT'S WHERE WE ARE, AND THAT'S WHERE THESE TWO GUYS, UNCLE AND HIS NEPHEW WENT OUT FOR A DAY OF FISHING, HAD A GOOD TIME, AND SUDDENLY THEY GOT A LITTLE WIND SURGE AND, WELL, THINGS DIDN'T TURN OUT THE WAY THEY PLANNED. LET ME TAKE YOU UPSTAIRS FROM SKY 10 WHERE YOU CAN SEE WHERE THEIR BOAT CAPSIZED AND CIRCLING AROUND THEM IS THIS RED BOAT THAT YOU SEE THERE. THAT'S THE BROWARD SHERIFF'S OFFICE, AND THE SHERIFF'S OFFICE ON SCENE ALMOST MILLION IMMEDIATELY TO HELP THESE GUYS. I'M NOT GOING TOLL YOU EXACTLY WHAT HAPPENED. I'M GOING LET THEM DO IT FOR IF YOU P. THEY OUST JUST GOT BACK AND YOU WOULD HAVE THOUGHT THESE GUYS WOULD HAVE BEEN A LOT MORE NERVOUS AND CONCERNED. THESE GUYS HAVE DONE THIS BEFORE, HAVE FLIPPED BEFORE. LUCKILY THIS TIME NOTHING HAPPENED THAT WAS SO TRAUMATIC THAT THEY COULDN'T MANLY LET'S LISTEN TO WHAT THEY HAD ON TO SAYRE A COUPLE OF MINUTES AGO. IT WAS A FREAK ACCIDENT WE DON'T DRINK. WASN'T ON DOPE OR NOTHING. JUST ALL OF A SUDDEN THE WIND LIKE A LITTLE TORNADO JUST FLIPPED ME OVER. I MEAN, IT'S A 15-FOOT BOAT. IT JUST HAPPENED SO FAST. THE WIND PICKED UP AND JUST GOT UNDERNEATH THE BOAT AND FLIPPED IT OVER, AND MY MAIN CONCERN WAS MY UNCLE. FOR ME IT'S PRETTY SCARY. BUT SO ANYWAY WE'RE SITTING THERE FOR A MINUTE AND MY PHONE ACTUALLY WORKED FOR MAINTAIN OR TWO AND THE FIRST PERSON I CALLED WAS MY DAD, LET HIM KNOW THAT WE'RE OKAY. AND YOU SEE RIGHT HERE YOU ARE LOOKING AT CHRIS MALL AND GARY KENDRICKSON. YOU GUYS ARE PRETTY LIGHT ALL THING CONSIDERED. HOW MUCH WATER WERE YOU TALKING ABOUT? HOW FAR? WHAT WAS THE DEPTH? IT WAS ABOUT TWO FOOT. SO THE WAIST AREA. BUT WE WAS OUT IN THE MIDDLE OF NOWHERE. AND YOU KEEP LAUGHING, AND YOU WERE LAUGHING BEFORE BUT YOU'RE RELAXED ONCE YOU KNEW WHERE YOU WERE. WERE YOU CONCERN AT ANY POINT? I KEPT HEARING A BUNCH OF BOATS. IT DIDN'T SCARE ME UNTIL HE STARTED SEEING THOSE BIG ALLIGATORS AND WE WORRIED ABOUT THAT. CHRIS, YOU AND I TALKED ABOUT THE POSSIBILITY OF WHAT WAS AROUND YOUR FEET. YOU CAN'T REALLY SEE WHAT'S IN THE WATER. YOU KNOW WHAT I MEAN? IT WAS PRETTY SCARY. MY MAIN CONCERN WASTE GETTING UNCLE GARY SAFE, AND BASICALLY SWAM ACROSS THE CANAL, PULLED HIM ACROSS, GOT TO DRY LAND BECAUSE HE WAS STARTING TO SHIVER. YOU START THINKING ABOUT, YOU KNOW, GETTING COLD AND WHATNOT, AND AS SOON AS WE GOT TO THE OTHER SIDE, A GOOD SAMARITAN CAME IN A BOAT AND PICKED UPS. REAL QUICKLY, ONE OF YOU IN TERMS OF HOW YOU GOT HELP, CHRIS WAS TELLING ME A LITTLE BIT EARLIER, GARY, IMMEDIATELY HE REACHED INTO HIS BACK POCKET AND GRABBED THE PHONE. IT WAS ACTUALLY WORKING. FOR A MINUTE. MINE WENT DEAD. I JUST -- MINE WENT AS SOON AS I HIT THE WATER IT WAS GONE. GUYS, WE'RE REALLY HAPPY YOU'RE OKAY. I APPRECIATE EVERYBODY COMING OUT AND HELPING US. I'M SORRY, BUT WHEN WE GOT TO THE SAWGRASS, WE CALLED WHO WE COULD TO SAY, HEY, WE'RE OKAY. WE'RE GLAD YOU'RE OKAY, TOO. THANKS AGAIN, FOLKS. AGAIN WE'LL BE RIGHT BACK ENDED UP NICELY.