11-year-old boy helps save grandparents after boating accident off Florida Keys

KEY LARGO, Fla. – A Hollywood boy, drifting alone onboard the family boat off Key Largo, helped save his grandparents in the ocean.

They were clinging to pool noodles.

“They were just floating away,” recalls 11-year-old Avani Perez.

The frightening turn of events happened last Thursday, when the family was enjoying a day on the ocean near Rodriguez Key.

The anchor line of their 21-foot center console Mako got caught in the propeller. Jim Harris, Perez' grandfather, went into the water to free the line and ended up cutting it.

“I turn around and they are 20, 30 feet away already,” Harris said.

11-year-old Avani Perez and his grandfather, Jim Harris. (WPLG)

His wife, Kimberly, jumped into the water with pool noodles, fearing she wouldn’t be able to toss a throw far enough to reach him. Neither could get back to their grandson.

About the Author: