85ºF

Deputy rescues 3 California teens after boat capsizes in Florida Keys

Teens perched on hull of overturned boat when deputy found them

California teens Zack Sowder, Brent Shishido and Jacob Sowder were found Tuesday sitting on the hull of their capsized boat off Little Torch Key.
California teens Zack Sowder, Brent Shishido and Jacob Sowder were found Tuesday sitting on the hull of their capsized boat off Little Torch Key. (Monroe County Sheriff's Office)


LITTLE TORCH KEY, Fla. – Three visiting California teenagers are safe in the Florida Keys, thanks to a marine deputy who rescued them from atop a capsized boat.

Monroe County Sheriff's Office spokeswoman Becky Herrin said Zack Sowder and Brent Shishido, both 18, and Jacob Sowder, 16, all of Orange County, California, climbed atop the capsized boat and called 911 on a cellphone Tuesday.

The teens were perched on the overturned hull, their life jackets trapped under the 22-foot vessel, when Deputy James Hager arrived in a boat.

Herrin said the boat took on water about 2 ½ miles off Little Torch Key, quickly capsizing.

She said they were fortunate that one of them had a cellphone and knew their general location.

Little Torch Key is about 30 miles north of Key West.

Hager had just finished cleaning his boat and pulled it out of the water when he heard the call on his police radio. He quickly put the boat back in the water and set off to find the teens.

After some time searching, Hager found the teens, loaded them on his patrol boat and took them safely back to shore.


About the Authors: