Coast Guard rescues missing mom separated from family in Florida thunderstorm

The U.S. Coast Guard located and rescued a mother who was separated from her husband and daughter off Cedar Key on July 9, 2024. (Photo: U.S. Coast Guard - Southeast)

A missing mom who was separated from her husband and child while paddleboarding during a thunderstorm off Cedar Key was located and rescued by Coast Guard crews on Tuesday. 

According to the U.S. Coast Guard, the woman's husband reported that he lost sight of his wife and beached himself and his child due to coastal thunderstorms in the area. Cedar Key is located about 50 miles southwest of Gainesville in Florida's Big Bend region. 

Crews found the missing woman about 20 minutes later, picked up her family and dropped them off at the boat ramp. 

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"We were scanning the water with binoculars when we spotted the bright orange life jacket she was wearing," said Petty Officer 3rd Class Elizabeth Knight. "She appeared to be exhausted from paddling against the weather and once she saw us she waved her paddle in the air and started calling for help."

No injuries were reported. 

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The U.S. Coast Guard urges those on the water to monitor any weather changes before heading out.